Late last week, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, which is the intermediate appellate court over New York lawsuits that begin in Buffalo, ruled on an employment law case involving the Buffalo Bills.

It ruled that members of the Buffalo Jills cheerleading squad can proceed with a class action claim that the team underpaid them for years. The claim is that they were improperly classified as independent contractors rather than employees and thus denied adequate compensation.

Practice Pointer: While interesting because it involves an NFL team, the important lesson behind the lawsuit is that companies must carefully classify their workers. While it’s too early to tell if the Jills will be successful, we’re reminded that there’s a legal standard to measure whether a worker must be classified as a W-2 employee or may be an independent contractor. Your employment lawyer can help with these tricky questions.