Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on Wednesday that recognizes the cheerleaders of California’s professional sports teams as full employees as opposed to independent contractors.
According to the California Legislative Information database:
Existing law prescribes comprehensive requirements relating to minimum wages, overtime compensation, and standards for working conditions for the protection of employees applicable to an employment relationship.
Existing law requires employers to make specified payments and withholdings from wages paid to employment to, and to file reports of wages and make contributions for unemployment insurances and the employment administering the state’s payroll taxes.
Existing law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification or, except where based upon applicable security regulations to refuse to hire or employ a person or to refuse to select a person for a training program leading to employment, or to bar or discharge a person from employment or from a training program leading to employment, or to discriminate against a person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of the person.
This bill, for purposes of all of the provisions of state law that govern employment, including the Labor Code, the Unemployment Insurance Code, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, would require a cheerleader who is utilized by a California-based professional sports team during its exhibitions, events, or games to be deemed an employee. The bill would also require the professional sports team to ensure that the cheerleader is classified as an employee.
Because a violation of specified employment laws, including wage and hour laws, that would apply to California-based professional sports teams utilizing cheerleaders would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.