NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7830A
SPONSOR: Rozic (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to estab-
lishing the cheerleaders' fair pay act
To provide cheerleaders employed by a professional sports team with
rights, protections, and benefits.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section I amends the labor law by adding new section 219-d to provide
cheerleaders employed by a professional sports team in this state with
the same rights, benefits, and protections conferred to its employees
who have entered into professional sports-services contracts. The defi-
nition of cheerleaders is also provided for the purposes of this
Section II sets forth the effective date.
In April 2014, six former members of the Buffalo Jills Cheerleading
Squad ("Jills") filed a wage theft lawsuit against the Buffalo Bills and
two for-profit contractors alleging that they were not paid minimum wage
for their work. Since that time the Court has allowed the National Foot-
ball League (NFL) to be added as a defendant and denied their motion to
dismiss based on the NFL Commissioner's approval of contracts providing
that the Jills would not be paid for working Buffalo Bills games.
The labor issue includes but is not limited to payment in a timely
manner, reimbursement for mandatory expenses, fraudulent misclassifica-
tion, penalties for minor infractions with unlawful deductions from
earnings, and failure to adhere to the notice and record keeping
requirements under the New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act.
The lawsuit is one of five that have been filed against National Foot-
ball League teams such as the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Bucca-
neers. The Jills have been able to proceed with their lawsuit because
the legality of their contract has been brought into question. According
to court documents, the contracts term are illegal, void, and unenforce-
As reports of minimum wage violations continue to make headlines, it is
clear that legal protections must be strengthened to ensure that workers
are not being stripped of their basic rights under state law. This bill
would address an inequity that fosters worker exploitation and hinders
any progress the state makes in the fight for equal pay. If enacted,
New York-based professional sports teams utilizing the services of
cheerleaders would provide them with the specified rights and benefits
afforded to its employees under existing employment laws.
FISCAL IMPACT TO THE STATE:
To be determined.
This is a new bill in the Assembly.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
May 28, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. ROZIC, PEOPLES-STOKES -- read once and referred
to the Committee on Labor -- committee discharged, bill amended,
ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to establishing the cheer-
leaders' fair pay act
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new section 219-d to
2 read as follows:
3 § 219-d. Application to cheerleaders. 1. A professional sports team
4 based in this state that employs professional athletes who have entered
5 into professional sports-services contracts, as defined by subdivision
6 eight of section eight hundred ninety-nine-a of the general business
7 law, and that utilizes the services of cheerleaders during its exhibi-
8 tions or games, shall provide such cheerleaders with all of the rights,
9 benefits and protections conferred to its employees by this chapter for
10 all services provided for the benefit of the team.
11 2. For the purposes of this section, "cheerleader" means an individual
12 who performs acrobatics, dance, gymnastic exercises, ice skating, or
13 other performances in promotion of a professional sports franchise iden-
14 tified in subdivision one of this section.
15 § 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
16 have become a law.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.