California now recognizes NFL cheerleaders as employees

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When a stream of lawsuits exposed the extent to which NFL teams exploit cheerleaders financially, it was obvious that changes would be coming to the system for paying them.

Via  the Associated Press, California has become the first state in the country to expressly make cheerleaders employees, for the purposes of minimum wage and overtime.

The new law will make it easier for cheerleaders of California NFL teams to prove employment status, and in turn the receipt justify minimum wage and overtime. Without the new law, teams could try to claim that the cheerleaders are contractors.

For years, some teams have taken advantage of the intensely competitive nature of the cheerleader selection process to justify paying the “winners” less than they deserve, or otherwise treating them poorly. A rash of lawsuits has exposed some of the seedier alleged practices, and hopefully the combination of litigation and legislation will bring about the kind of change that ensures the cheerleaders will be treated like any other employee, male or female.

71 responses to “California now recognizes NFL cheerleaders as employees

  1. …so you’re saying my casting couch is no longer a best-practice for “talent” evaluation?

    Still might fall into the Walmart way of doing things!

  2. Leave it to the California Republics to change the madness drummed up and dolled out by men in suits in skyscrapers on that weird other coast.

    You’re welcome America.

  3. I enjoy looking at them but teams don’t have to have them as some don’t, I hope this doesn’t cause teams to drop them all together.

  4. I thought the whole reason for being a cheerleader was that it was free advertisement for them for all the rich guys in attendance. Let’s not kid ourselves folks.

  5. Time for cheerleaders to go. The game has plenty of support now. Too bad, this was a great way for them to gain the fame/notoriety that they sought to turn it into a modeling/acting/dancing career but they’ve bitten the hand that feeds them

  6. This has always been a “volunteer” type of position because of intense desire by high maintenance women with a gymnast body, tons of makeup, massive bosom, and a high squeaky voice, to be at center stage and get attention from tens of thousands of men. I’d wager that if the position required the selectees to PAY for the privilege to be on the squad, competition still would have been fierce to land the positions. Now they’ll get paid some minimum wage, for what? None of them will live off that paltry figure, especially in California, where a 600 sq ft apartment costs roughly what a 50-acre ranch goes for in the midwest. Just the latest effort by California politicians to regulate everything. Good luck to any owner wanting to relocate to LA, you’re gonna need it.

  7. Since everyone is jumping on the “politically correct, “equality” train, wait until the first guy tries out as a cheerleader and is rejected because he is male.

    Oh, this lawsuit coverage should be better than the Hernandez trial and OJ trial(pick one), combined!

  8. It takes a real anti-education Republicant to fail to realize the 15 GOP governors who have run California since 1900.

    That’s 3 times as many Republicant governorships as Texas.

    Texas is such a liberal cesspool, dontcha think Stevie?

  9. I continue to take great pride from the fact that the Giants do not have “cheerleaders.” This sexist throwback should be thrown away.

  10. How much value does a cheer leading squad provide to a team (owner)?
    I assume not much, since many fans don’t care.
    If it becomes a hassle and an expense, then isn’t it likely more teams will get rid of them?

    Are cheer leaders “underpaid”? Maybe.
    Should they be paid more, or be fired.

    Ask the cheerleaders that question.
    They are presumably doing it for fun, at least most of them, since you don’t make much money doing it.
    If a cheer leading squad is terminated, do any of the members benefit? It’s not like it was their job, and they now move onto another job.

    I can see providing them certain basic protections, but at some point this “luxury” becomes expensive, and they will be fired.
    A loss for them, and a loss for anyone who likes watching them.

  11. Outsource ’em.

    That or it’s time for a corporate “restructuring.” In between dance sets, the teams can have them selling concessions and merchandise.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  12. As a California resident living in one of the highest taxed states in the nation with a water shortage and gas prices that went of 50 cents in 24 hours…this is the first good news I’ve heard in awhile.

  13. How can an organization make a case that the Jacksonville Jaguar cheerleaders are not employees of the Jacksonville Jaguars? It doesn’t really make sense that they could be allowed to be contractors.

  14. Vote for one of the 16 maniacs running in the red field and we’ll all become underpaid cheerleaders soon.

  15. Right or wrong, California is always first.
    ===========================
    Not the Raiders though. They can’t seem to get anything right. Oh well, eventually they will get it right. Not this year, but eventually.

  16. joetoronto says:

    Right or wrong, California is always first.
    ====================================

    They’ll be the first state to file for bankruptcy.

  17. 1) I personally think cheerleaders are useless and actually look like fools with their pom poms and fake smiles. It wouldn’t bother me one bit if they were done away with.

    2) One of my friends from high school was a Patriots cheerleader for a few years back in the 90’s. If I’m not mistaken, she told me that they each earned $5.00 (yes, five dollars) a day for any appearances they made. Game, charity or other event. If they are kept around, they definitely deserve a lot more than that.

  18. abninf says:

    Jul 16, 2015 1:21 PM

    I can see Cali mandating male cheerleaders on every squad next.

    —————————————–

    Only the San Francisco team.

  19. ‘Seedier alleged practices’…?

    Anyone who clicks on that link will be treated to a boring employee handbook that includes, among other things, advice about make up and proper hygiene.

    Since when did ‘seedier’ become a synonym for ‘boring’?

    Sure, they mentioned the word tampon, but unless you are a 12 year old boy it would be a far stretch to say this was seedy.

    Wait, I get it. We’re talking about girls here, so anything that makes them feel put upon means it’s criminal, chauvinist or seedy.

  20. Why should cheerleaders not be paid a wage for working just like anyone else does? Is there something wrong with an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work?

    You think the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders aren’t making money hand over fist for Jerry? Calendar sales, public appearances and a reality show all add up to no benefit to the team?

    Just because they are attractive women doesn’t automatically mean they are stupid, unworthy, or just desperate for attention. Some of you guys really need to take a good long look in the mirror and maybe see if the garbage you post online isn’t just a reflection of the hateful person you are deep inside.

  21. lol that last part:

    “…cheerleaders will be treated like any other employee”

  22. Whether it’s the temp agencies that suck money and benefits from their workers or the endless stream of part-time no-benefit disposable jobs that comprises most of the work available, many people suffer in this country because of employers who refuse to take responsibility for their employees. If the NFL didn’t think that cheerleaders added to their product somehow, then there would be no more cheerleaders. The NFL directs them through the club that they cheer for, and so they are employees. And this is the right lesson to teach all employers who refuse to take responsibility for their employees.

  23. koufaxmitzvah says:
    Jul 16, 2015 11:53 AM
    It takes a real anti-education Republicant to fail to realize the 15 GOP governors who have run California since 1900.

    That’s 3 times as many Republicant governorships as Texas.

    Texas is such a liberal cesspool, dontcha think Stevie?

    30 16

    ….You got to be kidding me,. What a moronic statement.
    The entire Calif legislature is infected with left wing liberals. Look at the public school system in shambles due
    to left wing policies. They claim lack of funding but in reality the funds get diverted to union corruption.

    The only non demo governor was Arnold and he got NOTHING done because he was stonewalled by the lib legislature and unions

    Ive lived in CA all my life too.

    Dont let facts get in the way pal.

  24. I’m sure they qualify for food stamps now….just what the left wants. Get the whole country on government subsidy so they keep voting them in office to get their free stuff!

  25. Jets cheerleaders are usually rooting for the other team by the second quarter.

  26. From the Raiders Cheerleader Manual:

    Boots not clean and polished for game day? $10.00 fine
    Failure to follow point #1 under Etiquette or Appearances (Game Day Ready)? $10.00 fine

    FINES WILL CONTINUE TO DOUBLE IF INFRACTIONS CONTINUE. Example: a $10 fine will go up to $20 if you forget to wear the proper attire for a second time, etc.

    – wow –

  27. @humbolt:
    No, we don’t hate women, we hate gold diggers. And these women are out to meet rich men or get a career as a model/dancer/actress. We don’t begrudge them of the latter, but when they want to be PAID for the opportunity to get that exposure, they all deserve to be fired and I hope that they are. That will perhaps serve as yet another lesson that EMPLOYEES do NOT make the rules…EMPLOYERS make the rules.

  28. steelerben says:
    Jul 16, 2015 1:43 PM

    Why should cheerleaders not be paid a wage for working just like anyone else does? Is there something wrong with an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work?

    You think the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders aren’t making money hand over fist for Jerry? Calendar sales, public appearances and a reality show all add up to no benefit to the team?

    Just because they are attractive women doesn’t automatically mean they are stupid, unworthy, or just desperate for attention. Some of you guys really need to take a good long look in the mirror and maybe see if the garbage you post online isn’t just a reflection of the hateful person you are deep inside.

    ——-

    Amen.

    Corporations prefer ‘contractors’ because they don’t have to pay payroll taxes, workers compensation insurance, etc.. And the ‘contractor’ (cheerleader in this case) has to make up the difference in the form of self employment tax, and may not be covered if she gets injured while performing cheerleading duties.

  29. The media can’t wait till the first Transgender cheerleader is revealed! ESPiN can’t wait to give away an award for it.

  30. humb0lt says:
    Jul 16, 2015 1:04 PM
    Wow. A lot of you who commented here really hate women. How sad.

    No. Sad is a 30 yr old that refuses to accept that high school was over a decade ago. But, if the team uses this to make money, pay them.

  31. Right or wrong, California is always first.
    ———————————————-
    First in what, taxes? True…. Illegals, True…. The absolute worst politicians? True…. Most people fleeing from any state in the past five years? True….I see how always being first is working out for your state…. No thanks.

  32. I sincerely doubt that the owner of the world’s 8th largest economy, will file for bankruptcy. Jealous much?

    Pay them minimum wage. They don’t use it as a job to support themselves. These are typically educated and employed women that are looking to further dancing/acting/model careers.

    Min. wage should be fine.

  33. The NFL are the same guys who think they should also be paid for the halftime show of the superbowl. Not paying cheerleaders (and in some cases charging) them is laughably ridiculous for a sport that takes in billions.

  34. Pay them minimum wage. They don’t use it as a job to support themselves.
    ————————————————
    They shouldn’t, but I believe a lot of them do. That’s why they want $20.00 an hour as the min. wage. When they get it, it’s an automatic vote for the left. That’s the difference between a liberal and a conservative; the conservative signs the front of the check.

  35. Pay them, they are working and it’s not an easy job. I think they add to the game day atmosphere. Go team!

  36. The fact that a multi billion dollar business treats these ladies like slave labor and doesn’t even pay them minimum wage tells us everything we need to know about the greed of NFL owners and management.

    Disgusting

  37. Pay them, they are working and it’s not an easy job. I think they add to the game day atmosphere. Go team!
    ——————————————–
    I agree. You cant tell me the Cowboys have not benefitted tremendously off theirs. I am not shocked at the greed of most of these owners.

  38. Can California and the 49 other states do the same for the NCAA players too?

    They and cheerleaders do the same thing: work out and give us a show to watch while being underpaid.

  39. Too bad, without Obamacare they would have had a great job where they are working 40 or more hours per week, instead of only working 25 hours a week just so the NFL won’t have to pay for their medical insurance.

  40. In order to get overtime or employee benefits, an employee has to put in a 35 hour week which cheerleaders don’t do. And, they do get some fringe benefits in the form of getting their hair and makeup done professionally and gratuities from appearances, etc., as well as, a level of public promotion that most theater people can’t buy. Since this is a part-time gig for most, they don’t have it so bad!
    As far as entertainment value at the games…an unnecessary expense as most people use the time they are on the field to go to the bathroom or the concession and if it keeps ticket prices from rising, I think most fans would be in favor of letting them go. Football is about the game, the sideshow dancers are just glitz.

  41. It takes a real anti-education Republicant to fail to realize the 15 GOP governors who have run California since 1900.

    That’s 3 times as many Republicant governorships as Texas.

    Texas is such a liberal cesspool, dontcha think Stevie?
    _____________________________________
    Well this happened now and I’m pretty sure Jerry Brown is NOT a conservative. And you’re clearly a liberal in denial thanks to your failed attempts to deflect. California will eventually be the first state to declare bankruptcy. And don’t even get me started about sanctuary cities.

  42. Jeeze some act as if the NFL couldn’t afford low paying Cheerleaders. They deserve money because they are doing a job and it shouldn’t be possible to be below the minimum wage, unless Webster updated the word minimum lately. And lets not kid ourselves, it’s a physical job that most in the stands couldn’t even do, let alone look good doing it.

  43. As of 2011, Charger Girls made $75 to $125 a game. That’s not a livable wage, and should not be depended on as such.

    These are side jobs for a couple of months a year.

  44. dasmol says:

    As of 2011, Charger Girls made $75 to $125 a game. That’s not a livable wage, and should not be depended on as such.

    These are side jobs for a couple of months a year.

    You are right that they are side jobs. But how many hours of practice are they REQUIRED to work to remain on the squad? How many hours before the game are they REQUIRED to be there? That’s the point. They are employees because they are required to be somewhere at a certain time and have to answer to a supervisor.

  45. bearclaw, looks like you’re wrong. IRRESPONSIBLE EMPLOYERS don’t make the rules anymore. Thank you.

  46. California? Ordering businessmen to pay cheerleaders? Why that’s COMMUNISM!

    (Sheriff Buford T. Justice voice)

  47. Wow – who expected this story to turn into a meeting of the he-man woman haters club!

    Yes, these women are healthier and more athletic than you guys. Don’t forget that some are even better educated than you! And yes they are completely out of reach for you, but that’s mainly because you make sure the pizza and Cheetos are always within reach.

    So when you spew all this anger about the horror of forcing billionaire team owners to pay the cheerleading squad minimum wage, ask yourself who you’re really angry at and what you’re really angry about? Might help if you do that asking in front of a mirror.

    Don’t forget to blame Obama!

  48. chc4 says:
    Well this happened now and I’m pretty sure Jerry Brown is NOT a conservative. And you’re clearly a liberal in denial thanks to your failed attempts to deflect. California will eventually be the first state to declare bankruptcy. And don’t even get me started about sanctuary cities.
    ————————–
    Thanks to Jerry Brown (who is not a liberal), our state economy is healthy. It’s the biggest economy in the US and one of the top 10 in the world (bigger than tech giant India).

    I had no idea that whether or not to pay cheerleaders minimum wage was such a polarizing red-state/blue-state concept! Next you’ll be talking about how ISIS doesn’t have to pay their cheerleaders (and so paying NFL cheerleaders weakens our national defense, right?)!

    Extending the rights and protections of employees to these women is a matter of respect. If respect is a liberal concept, then call me a liberal.

  49. Do the teams force these women to work as cheerleaders? How can a government say what type of workers they are? Interesting questions in my mind.

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