A while back we told you how little cheerleaders are paid in the NFL. Many of the women across the league have sued for their right to be treated as a standard employee within an NFL organization.
But now, cheerleaders in the state of California will be treated as legitimate employees vs. independent contract workers where they will now be compensated at least minimum wage for practices and appearances. Cheerleaders win a wage lawsuit for the first time!
The bill signed by California Governor Jerry Brown is the first in the nation and comes after members of the Raiderettes sued the Oakland Raiders organization after they were paid less than $5 per hour for practices, games, appearances and more- all of which they are required to attend.
Many cheerleaders across the NFL have to also have to come out of pocket for makeup, hair, travel and gym costs.
The bill’s major sponsor Rep. Lorena Gonzalez said “We would never tolerate shortchanging of women workers at any other workplace. An NFL game should be no different.”
“Today we took an important step toward ensuring that multi-billion dollar sports teams treat cheerleaders with the same dignity and respect as every other employee who makes the game-day experience special,” Gonzalez said.
The NFL, who is still reeling from female fans over the Ray Rice controversy, offered up a half-assed statement in response to the new bill saying “teams are advised to follow state and federal employment laws” but also noted cheerleaders are employed by the teams, not the league.
While the new California bill applies to all professional sports teams in the state, the only organizations affected are the Raiders, 49ers and Chargers as the four NBA teams in that state already classify their cheerleaders as employees.
It’s great to see a state take control of a situation the NFL has turned a blind eye towards for so long.
Now let’s hope other states follow in California’s footsteps while the NFL continues to drag its feet.
Featured image via Levi Damien