On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Jerry Brown approved a bill that officially classifies professional cheerleaders as employees entitled to minimum wage, sick leave, and overtime pay. That feels like it should already have been a thing, right?
The bill, AB202, which will officially take effect in 2016, was introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez after Oakland Raiderette cheerleaders, paid less than $5 per hour, filed a wage-theft lawsuit.
The Associated Press reports:
Dozens of Raiderettes who worked for the team from 2010 to 2013 received a $1.25 million settlement last year as part of the lawsuit. Cheerleaders for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also received a settlement.
Attorneys for NFL cheerleaders have said that in addition to receiving sub-standard wages and little to no overtime pay, they have also been forced to foot the bill for thousands of dollars of travel and personal appearance costs.
In an email, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said that the NFL has no control over cheerleaders’ employment, and that teams are “advised to follow state and federal employment laws.”
Unsolved by this legislation, however, was a second complaint filed by the Raiderettes which alleged that the cheerleaders were often mocked and scolded for their appearance and forced to partake in events involving “inappropriate and/or degrading comments and groping from often-inebriated attendees.” Still, this is a good first step for a job plagued with sexist crap.
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