Former Saints cheerleader sues team over gender discrimination

Tennessee football fans may be interested to learn that a former New Orleans Saints cheerleader is suing the team over gender discrimination. The complaint was filed with the assistance of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was a member of the cheerleading team, called the Saintsations, for two seasons. She claims she was fired for allegedly being at the same party as an active Saints football player and for posting a modest photo of herself on a private Instagram account, activities which are forbidden in the Saintsations employee handbook. However, the complaint argues that Saints players are not held to the same standards, and the team places restrictions on cheerleading team members solely because of their gender.

A New York Times investigation published some of the requirements placed on Saintsations members. These requirements include setting all social media accounts to private, blocking all current NFL players from following them, agreeing not to post any photos of themselves in Saints gear and agreeing not to attend any unapproved event attended by an active Saints player. Saintsations members must also leave any location, including a restaurant, where an active player shows up. Meanwhile, Saints players have no such restrictions placed on them and are not forbidden from attempting to contact cheerleaders. The lawsuit claims the Saints are violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids workplace discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin. People who are subjected to such discrimination have the right to pursue legal action. They could learn more about their legal rights by contacting an employment attorney.

Source: SB Nation, "Discrimination complaint, investigation reveal how much Saints try to control cheerleaders' personal lives", Christian D'Andrea, March 26, 2018

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