BY: Charles Ash, IV | IN: Class Action & Commercial Litigation, Employment Law
Within windowless gentlemen’s clubs across the U.S., exotic dancers are often victims of wage abuse. But employers that try to take advantage of these workers are being held accountable.
The wage theft works like this. To avoid paying the mandatory minimum wage, club owners intentionally misclassify dancers as independent contractors – not employees. Owners may also charge dancers “rent” for the time they work, which effectively reduces their compensation below minimum wage. In most cases, dancers’ only compensation comes from a small cut of the dance fees and the tips they receive from club patrons.
The implications of misclassifying workers go beyond minimum wage violations. As independent contractors, dancers aren’t entitled to insurance or workers compensation benefits from the clubs, nor can they pursue sexual harassment claims.
Sommers Schwartz has successfully represented exotic dancers in multiple class action lawsuits under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state labor laws. Most recently, our attorneys secured a $6.55 million settlement for approximately 28,000 current and former dancers working at 64 Deja Vu nightclubs across the U.S.
Reports have surfaced that the following clubs may be robbing dancers out of a minimum wage:
Attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are currently interviewing exotic dancers at these establishments to determine if they have been misclassified as independent contractors and whether they are entitled to damages. If you have worked as a dancer at these clubs or have information that would be helpful to our investigation, please contact us today.
View all posts byCharles 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.