Charger Girls and other California cheerleaders will soon be classified as employees opposed to contract workers, after Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a labor bill drafted by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 202, goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, and requires professional sports teams to treat cheerleaders as employees, giving them standard benefits and protections under wage and hour laws.
Gonzalez said the bill was prompted by a lawsuit filed by Oakland Raiders cheerleaders, claiming the Raiders paid less than minimum wage, withheld overtime pay, did not pay cheerleaders on time and forced the cheerleaders to pay for business expenses themselves. The team paid $1.25 million to settle the suit in September.
Brown, a Democrat, signed the bill after it passed the Assembly and Senate by wide margins in May and June, respectively.