The California Legislature is on the verge of passing a law that would require NFL and NBA teams to classify their cheerleaders as statutory employees and pay them at least the state minimum wage. This is the issue that the Oakland Raiders (and the Bills, Jets, Bengals and Buccaneers) have faced, in court, in the last few years.
The proposed law (A.B. 202) came out of the Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media on Tuesday, with a 5-2 vote in its favor. It now heads to the state appropriations committee. The law requires that cheerleaders be paid for the time they spend representing the teams both on and off the field. The bill was first introduced in January by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a former Stanford cheerleader. She said that the proposed law “simply demands that any professional sports team — or their chosen contractor — treat the women on the field with the same dignity and respect that we treat the guy selling beer.
”The Raiders case, Lacy T. et al. v. the Oakland Raiders, settled in September for more than one million dollars. The plaintiffs in that class action had accused the Raiders of wage theft and other unfair employment process. The suit alleged that the team did not pay the “Raiderettes” anything until the season ended, did not pay for all hours worked and forced the cheerleaders to pay a large portion of their business expenses. The suit alleged that these workers were actually paid less than five dollars per hour for the hours of rehearsing, performing and appearing at events…
Read the full story at NFL Cheerleaders To Be Deemed “Employees” And Protected Under Proposed Law