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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bill Will Require California Sports Teams to Stop Treating Cheerleaders Like Worthless Fembots

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 1:50 PM

click to enlarge PETE SHEFFIELD/FLICKR
  • Pete Sheffield/Flickr

Cheerleaders are employees
. That’s the message of AB202, which passed the state senate yesterday with a vote of 26-8. The bill would require professional sports teams to compensate cheerleaders with at least minimum wage, as well as provide them with overtime pay and sick leave.

The bill was inspired by a class-action lawsuit filed against the Oakland Raiders in January 2014. In that case, a 27-year-old cheerleader named Lacy T. alleged that the Raiders violated a number of state labor laws — everything from withholding wages to denying meal breaks to not reimbursing expenses.

Reporting on the case last year, The Los Angeles Times cited other egregious violations — and quoted from a handbook that made cheerleading for the team sound like the most nightmarish moments from Dance Moms — but the matter of compensation was especially troubling:

Lacy earned $125 per game. That means Raiderettes earn only $1,250 for an entire season. According to Lacy’s attorneys, Leslie Levy and Sharon Vinick, that amounts to less than $5 an hour for all the work they are required to put in.

In July 2014, the Raiders issued a new contract to its cheerleaders that brought their compensation to $9 per hour.

The bill now moves to Governor Jerry Brown.

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Jeremy Lybarger


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