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California Bill Seeks to Make Professional Cheerleaders Team Employees

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The Oakland Raiderettes dance between quarters during a game against the San Francisco 49ers on December 7, 2014 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO (AP) —

California’s lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill making it clear that professional cheerleaders are sports team employees.

The bill approved by the state Senate on Monday would require that cheerleaders be paid at least minimum wage if they work for professional sports teams based in California.

AB202 says they would have to be paid for overtime and sick leave, the same as other employees.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez says many teams currently treat their cheerleaders like glorified volunteers when she says they deserve the same level of respect and dignity as other team employees.

The San Diego Democrat’s bill responds to recent lawsuits filed by cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills.

The bill was passed on a bipartisan 26-8 vote.