An anonymous former cheerleader for the Houston Texans has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Texans and cheerleading coach Altovise Gary under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The cheerleader, identified only as P.G.G., worked for the team for the 2017-18 season and left in April. The lawsuit additionally requests status as a class action to “recover compensation for hours worked but not recorded or paid, failure to pay minimum wage, and failure to pay over time compensation.”
P.G.G. says she was only paid $2.75 an hour for her actual on-field work as a cheerleader, but that she was never compensated for numerous required cheerleading-adjacent tasks she had to do that made the poorly paid gig more of a full-time job, such as tweeting every 48 hours in the offseason, getting a spray tan before every game, and traveling to and from events. The failure to pay section of the suit bears resemblance to other lawsuits filed by her fellow chronically underpaid cheerleaders.
In the wrongful termination portion of the complaint, P.G.G. details Gary’s allegedly abusive behavior (she’s referred to in the suit as Coach Alto).
The suit says Gary poked a cheerleader in the eye while mocking her weight, refused to protect them or help them when they complained about being harassed by fans, and demoted then ultimately cut a group of cheerleaders in retaliation for them speaking to Texans HR about getting Gary to chill. The full complaint is below.
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