Cheering the way to employee status

Something for the weekend…


Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that will classify California’s professional cheerleaders as employees.

Under the new legislation, professional sports teams in the US West Coast state must grant cheerleaders the same rights as other employees.

Once the law comes into effect in January 2016, professional cheerleaders will be eligible for overtime and sick pay, and must be paid the minimum wage.

The bill follows a spate of lawsuits in which cheerleaders alleged that they receive lower than the minimum wage, are not fully compensated for overtime or reimbursed for travel expenses.

In September 2014, a group of former Raiders cheerleaders won a $1.25 million settlement against the Oakland Raiders franchise of the National Football League (NFL) after filing a wage-theft lawsuit.

Lorena Gonzalez, the California state assemblywoman who introduced the bill, said: “We would never tolerate shortchanging of women workers at any other workplace. An NFL game should be no different.”

Now that the cheerleaders have been granted employee-status, Employee Benefits wonders whether their next cheer routine will call for a comprehensive staff benefits package: ‘Give me a B. Give me an E. Give me an N.E.F.I.T.S…?’