The owners of Rick’s Cabaret in Midtown Manhattan agreed to pay its dancers $15 million to settle an employment class action, according to the New York Post.

The lawsuit, brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws, alleged that neither Rick’s nor its parent company RCI Entertainment New York paid dancers a minimum wage and improperly withheld tips. In fact, the dancers claimed that the only compensation they received was directly from customers, and that Rick’s management required each dancer to pay the company $60 per shift.

In its defense, Rick’s argued that the dancers were independent contractors, not employees, a position the court rejected in an earlier ruling where Rick’s was found to control almost all of the dancers behavior within the club.

The case was initially field on behalf of 50 dancers, but it is estimated that an additional 1,900 workers may be able to participate in the settlement.

This case represents a growing number of lawsuits against employers for wage and overtime violations. If you have questions about wage theft or concerns about unpaid compensation to which you may be entitled, the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are available to discuss your situation – contact us today.

Charles Ash, IV

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Charles Ash, IV

Charles R. Ash, IV is a Shareholder in Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation groups. A substantial portion of Rob’s practice is devoted to collective and class actions arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and similar state laws.

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