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Cincinnati Bengals settle cheerleader wage lawsuit, for now

The lawsuit filed by cheerleaders against the Bengals and other lawsuits involving NFL cheerleaders began emerging last year; now, the Bengals are trying to put it behind them.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2014, several allegations were made regarding NFL teams' mistreatment and minimal pay of their cheerleaders.

The Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders became defendants in employment-law related lawsuits brought forth by former cheerleaders of each respective team. Former Bengals cheerleader Alexa Brenneman went public last year saying she only receives $90 per home game -- which appeared to be the standard rate for most NFL cheerleaders.

Brenneman filed a Class Action Complaint against the Bengals, which you can read here. In it, she claimed the team violated minimum wage laws among other things, and it now appears there's some closure in sight for this case.

According to Dan Sewell of the Associated Press, the Bengals have reached a tentative settlement in that lawsuit.

Documents filed recently in U.S. District Court show the Bengals agreed to pay Ben-Gal cheerleaders a total of $255,000 to settle the 2014 lawsuit alleging that their time commitments for games, practices and promotional events netted them payment that was below minimum wage.

Those covered cheered in the 2011-13 seasons and could receive at least $2,500 each per season. Court documents state that the Bengals started paying more in 2014 and that the team denies any wrongdoing but decided to settle the lawsuit to avoid lengthy, expensive litigation.

The report also states that Brenneman would receive an extra $5,000 from the Bengals as the lead plaintiff in the legal action. Her attorney, as well as a Bengals spokesman, supplied no comment on the case.

The settlement is, however, subject to a fairness hearing on December 3, 2015, which allows the Bengals to cancel the deal if cheerleaders with a combination of six years or more opt out of the deal.