Cheerleaders Have Rights Too! New Law Addresses the Struggle of the California Cheerleader

Global warming, a decaying infrastructure, budget problems, pollution, endangered species; these are all serious problems. In a world full of serious problems, lesser tragedies frequently go unnoticed. Like the plight of the American cheerleader. These men and women generally promote their teams for little or no pay, have no benefits, and are afforded none of the basic rights enjoyed by hourly employees. For a while it seemed as if no one would hear their choreographed cries for help. But fear not, readers, for the California Legislature has stepped in to save the day.

Assembly Bill 202 addresses the problem head on. Signed without fanfare by Governor Brown days ago, this new law states that all cheerleaders of California-based professional sports teams are deemed to be employees. As employees, they will have all the rights of California workers, including rights under the Unemployment Insurance Code, the Labor Code and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. AB 202 excludes any individual who performs acrobatics, dance or gymnastics exercises at a single game or event in a calendar year who is not otherwise affiliated with the sports team (sorry, Dancing Dan!). So spread your joy, you cultivators of unbridled enthusiasm; we got your back.

The new law becomes effective on January 1, 2016.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2015.  All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it. If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department, at (310) 281-6348

Tags: HR


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