In order to better serve you while concerns over COVID-19 continue we are happy to conduct consultations by phone. Documents can also be reviewed and signed electronically. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

$5 million Executive
Severance Pay
$1.5 million Gender
Discrimination
$1.5 million Retaliation
$1.2 million Whistleblower
Retaliation
$1.1 million Age
Discrimination
$750,000 Employment
Case

Professional Cheerleaders Will Now Be Employees in California

In a sport where a professional player is paid millions of dollars for a single season, you would assume that a professional cheerleader would earn at least a living wage, but the reality is that some teams pay their cheerleaders less than $1,000 per season, expect them to make appearances for free and fine them for minor errors such as bringing the wrong pom-poms to rehearsal. A new California law aims to change that, and the trend may be catching in other states.

Raiderettes Lead the Way

It all started when the Oakland Raiderette cheerleaders filed a wage-theft lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that they were only paid $1,250 per season, which amounted to $5.00 an hour, less than minimum wage. The lawsuit was resolved with a $1.25 million settlement to be distributed among dozens of Raiderettes who worked for the team over a four year period. A victory, but a very small one when you consider what an individual player makes for just one season.

After the lawsuit was filed, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez introduced a bill that would require sports teams to treat cheerleaders as employees rather than contractors. AB202 was signed into law on July 15, 2015 and will take effect in 2016. It provides cheerleaders with overtime pay, sick leave, and other labor protections already enjoyed by other team staff.

The Raiderettes supported passing the new law, but say they never were independent contractors and should have been treated as employees to begin with.

After the Buffalo Jills filed a similar lawsuit in New York, a bill was introduced in that state that would also require minimum wage and other employee protections for professional cheerleaders. The Jills’ suit also alleges sexual harassment. Several other groups of cheerleaders have filed labor lawsuits in recent years.

If you believe that you have been a victim of wage theft or sexual harassment, please call the New Jersey employment attorneys of Lenzo & Reis, LLC, at (973) 845-9922 or email us today for a free case evaluation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Professional and Knowledgeable Attorney. At what was supposed to be the highest point in my career suddenly became the most harassing and lowest point of my career and I was passed over for a promotion. Not because the other person was more qualified than I was, but because I followed the law and did the right thing and the people I worked for did not like that. After researching several attorneys, my wife and I found Claudia, and the decision to retain her was the best decision we ever made. After explaining our case to Claudia, we found that she was not only extremely professional but a very caring human being. Throughout the entire process of our case, Claudia was there with us every step of the way. She explained every single proceeding that we had to go through and guided us, not only as a professional attorney in and out of court, but personally as a caring and understanding person. Because of her extensive working knowledge of employment and labor laws, Claudia was able to successfully resolve our case. My wife and I will always be extremely grateful for Claudia’s hard work and dedication, and we highly recommend Claudia Reis to anyone seeking an attorney who practices in employment and labor laws." John
★★★★★
"Professionalism, integrity, and determination. Outstanding representation! Chris Lenzo did an outstanding job in my employment discrimination case. He responded to my questions in a timely fashion, provided clear communication through each step of the process, and handled my case in an honest and straight forward manner. Chris’s expertise in employment law along with his hard work ensured justice would prevail in my case and got me the compensation I deserved. Likewise, Chris’s law firm staff was professional, courteous, organized, and effective. I highly recommend Chirs Lenzo’s firm to anyone with an employment legal matter in New Jersey or New York." Sofia
★★★★★
"Remarkable professional. I have worked with Ms. Reis and her firm for the past three years. During the consultation process, you will immediately experience her compassion as she offers suggestions and guides you through the difficult situation you are dealing with. Her attention to detail, timely follow up and candid manner ensured me that I was well-protected and represented. Ms. Reis always went above and beyond to protect me legally. She is a very strong and tough (when necessary) advocate for the individual she represents. Her support staff is equally diligent. I would recommend her without reservation." A.M.