We previously reported that there have been several wage and hour lawsuits filed recently by NFL cheerleaders against their respective teams. Moreover, the Oakland Raiders settled such a lawsuit for $1.25 million in 2014, and other lawsuits against other teams remain pending. In response to the Oakland Raiders case, the California State Assembly has introduced legislation to classify all cheerleaders for California sports teams as employees, which will entitle them to minimum wage and other basic employment rights. Such legislation would avoid any ambiguity as to whether cheerleaders are employees or contractors. While the legislation has not yet passed, it is proceeding to the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media.
While the State of California may be an outlier in going so far as to legislate this issue, it is reasonable to assume other states may consider similar legislation specifically requiring classification of professional cheerleaders (and perhaps others) as employees.