A former member of the Los Angeles Temptation is suing the all-female Legends Football League (formerly the Lingerie Football League, or Lingerie League) alleging she and other former and current players are wrongly classified as independent contractors and wrongly denied overtime.
Melissa Margulies filed the lawsuit on June 30 in Los Angeles Superior Court against the league and its owner and founder, Mitchell Mortaza. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
A representative of the league did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
According to the suit, Margulies was a member of the league, formerly known as Lingerie Football League, from 2010-13. She is seeking to include in her suit all players dating back four years from the time a judgment is reached in her case.
According to the suit, the league “willfully misclassified” players as independent contractors rather than employees despite having a significant say over their job duties.
“Indeed, it is difficult to imagine how players in a team sports league could ever qualify as independent contractors,” the suit states. “The nature of team sports demands that players follow league and team rules or face discipline or termination.”
Players are ordered to be at practices and promotional events, to avoid outside activities in which they could be seriously hurt and must give all publicity rights to the league, the suit states.
The suit also alleges Margulies and other players were not given wage statements, were denied reimbursement for expenses related to their work and were not paid wages owed within the proper time period when they left the league.
Margulies, 27, is a former member of the USC women’s track team.
The Lingerie Football League began as a Super Bowl halftime show, but after its name was changed it expanded to 10 teams in the United States as well as a total of nine other squads in Canada and Australia, the suit states.