Lawmakers in the Assembly voted to extend labor protections, including minimum wage requirements, to cheerleaders for professional sports teams Monday.
Working conditions for professional cheerleaders made headlines last year, after members of the cheer squads for the Oakland Raiders and the Buffalo Bills filed lawsuits alleging unfair compensation.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said her bill is meant to address the National Football League and other sports leagues' "long-standing tradition of treating their cheerleaders as glorified volunteers, independent contractors or simply refusing to abide by basic wage and hour laws."
The measure would designate professional sports cheerleaders as "employees" under California law, making them subject to minimum wage requirements, overtime pay and workers compensation.
"This bill simply demands that any professional sports team treat women on field with the same dignity and respect that they treat the guys selling beer," Gonzalez said on the Assembly floor.
The Assembly approved the bill, AB 202, on a 52-21 vote. It now heads to the Senate.