PDA

View Full Version : Entertainers lawsuit against club for loss of wages



Pages : [1] 2

mysteryman
06-04-2009, 09:46 PM
http://www.twincities.com/ci_12506882?nclick_check=1

Sex sells, but does it pay? Strippers claim Inver Grove Heights club violated wage law

By David Hanners
[email protected] ([email protected]?subject=TwinCities.com: Sex sells, but does it pay? Strippers claim Inver Grove Heights club violated wage law)
Updated: 06/03/2009 09:25:36 AM CDT





The King of Diamonds strip club's Web site touts a "non-stop show" where "your dreams come true."
Maybe for the customers of the Inver Grove Heights "gentleman's club."
But two strippers claim in a federal lawsuit that the club didn't pay them wages and required them to pay the owners a nightly "house fee" for the privilege of working there.
King of Diamonds classified the women as independent contractors when they should have been salaried employees earning at least minimum wage, according to the suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.
The women allege that their only income came from customers' tips. Besides having to pay a house fee ranging from $50 to $100 a night, they claim they were forced to pay the owners "late fees, fees for failing to sign up for their shifts in advance and fees for leaving early."
"Certainly, in some instances, the entertainers would make money at the end of the night," said E. Michelle Drake, a lawyer representing the women. "But there were some cases where they lost money. From a legal perspective, they shouldn't.
"You can't make your employees pay to come to work," Drake said. "The law is very clear. Money only flows in one direction, from the employer to the employee."
The club's owner, Susan Kladek, said she hadn't seen the lawsuit and would have to talk to her attorney before commenting on it.
"We have nothing to hide," she said. Susan Kladek is the wife of the club's founder, Larry
Advertisement

http://us.bc.yahoo.com/b?P=65dfa120-518b-11de-b0ce-970f7acc7322&T=19d24vjj7%2fX%3d1244177001%2fE%3d2022775704%2fR% 3dnchome%2fK%3d5%2fV%3d8.1%2fW%3d0%2fY%3dPARTNER_U S%2fF%3d219203811%2fH%3dYWx0c3BpZD0iOTY3MjgzMDAzIi BzZXJ2ZUlkPSI2NWRmYTEyMC01MThiLTExZGUtYjBjZS05NzBm N2FjYzczMjIiIHNpdGVJZD0iNTUxMDUxIiB0U3RtcD0iMTI0ND E3NzAwMTkxNDEyOSIgdGFyZ2V0PSJfYmxhbmsiIA--%2fQ%3d-1%2fS%3d1%2fJ%3d2C558862&U=128ibcgkc%2fN%3dg20SAGKIVL4-%2fC%3d-1%2fD%3dLREC%2fB%3d-1%2fV%3d0 http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-e4m3Yko6bFYVc.gif?labels=NewsAndReference,CultureA ndSociety

Kladek. He gave up ownership in December, the same month he pleaded guilty to a single count of income tax evasion.
In September, a federal grand jury indicted Kladek on nine criminal counts that alleged he cheated the government out of nearly $913,000 by filing false individual and corporate tax returns between 2000 and 2003. He reached a deal with the U.S. attorney's office, pleading guilty to a single count of income tax evasion. The other counts were dropped.
His sentencing will be July 8.
The women bringing the civil suit seek to make it a class action because they believe more than 100 former or current employees of the King of Diamonds could have been subjected to the same conditions. Drake said she hasn't figured out how much the women are owed but says the sum "is substantial."
The claims in the civil lawsuit involve Jessica Van Vliet, of St. Paul, who worked at the club as an entertainer from June 2006 to November 2007, and Rebecca Carlin, of Falcon Heights, another entertainer who worked there from May 2005 to April 2007.
Drake claimed the adult entertainment industry "is notorious" for classifying employees as independent contractors and not paying them wages. A check of two Minneapolis strip clubs — Déjà Vu and Sheik's Palace Royale — found different approaches to paying performers.
"Most of the places don't" pay, said a man who answered the phone at Déjà Vu and declined to give his name.
But Gary Scellin, area director of Sheik's, said all the club's workers "are paid employees."
"They all have the opportunity to get tips, but they all make a salary. They get paid an hourly wage," Scellin said. "As far as the industry goes, it varies from club to club. A lot of clubs have their entertainers contracted as independent contractors, not employees."
But Drake said the U.S. Department of Labor considers entertainers at strip clubs to be employees. She said the clubs often take advantage of women, believing the workers won't report workplace violations.
"The club took advantage of the fact that many women in this industry may be reluctant to raise a wage-and-hour claim in the courts because of concerns about coming forward about the kind of profession in which they engage," Drake said.
"It's perfectly legal, perfectly respectable, and these people are just as entitled to protection of wage-and-hour laws as anyone else," she said. "They're just as protected as pizza delivery drivers, people who work at Starbucks or people who work at Wal-Mart."
The suit claims Van Vliet and Carlin were hired as entertainers and weren't required to have specialized training or background.
"Defendants have, however: established specific work schedules for entertainers, required entertainers to dance at specified times and in a specified manner on stage, regulated entertainers' attire and interactions with customers, and financed all advertising efforts undertaken on behalf of the King of Diamonds," the suit says.
It also said that while the women got tips "in exchange for performing lap dances and/or for spending time with customers," they were re-quired to share the tips with bartenders and disc jockeys.
The suit also includes wage-and-hour claims by two other women, one of whom still works at the King of Diamonds. Corbin Dantzscher, of South St. Paul, still works at the club as a "floor host," while Brittina Hedman, also of South St. Paul, worked there from April 2008 until March.
Dantzscher and Hedman claim they didn't get paid for all the hours they worked. Also, the suit contends that while they received tips, they were required to share them "with other employees who did not directly serve the customers who gave the non-entertainers those gratuities." "As a result of Defendants' failure to pay employees for all hours worked, Defendants' practices caused employees' pay to fall below the minimum wage," the suit contends.

Ms. Mia Roberts
06-04-2009, 09:50 PM
A-FUCKIN-MEN!!!

FINALLY :D


i was wondering when someone was going to bring this up in court...

i hope it blows up all over the news.... but i think my hopes are way too high

Melonie
06-04-2009, 10:45 PM
If this lawsuit is successful, it lays the groundwork for all dancers in the state of Minnesota to also be declared 'statutory employees' ... with the same sort of aftereffects discussed in the thread about the NY sex performer 'permit' bill. However, in this case, it was actually dancers rather than legislators who will be responsible for the change.

lildreamer316
06-04-2009, 11:30 PM
A-FUCKIN-MEN!!!

FINALLY :D


i was wondering when someone was going to bring this up in court...

i hope it blows up all over the news.... but i think my hopes are way too high


Um....this is NOT a good thing for us.

Please go read the thread about the NY new law.

These girls must be young or inexperienced. Are you kidding?? To classify us as employees is to bring a world of trouble to us; and seriously cut our earning potential. The detrimental effects far outweigh any benefits. Please go read the thread I suggested, Melonie does a great job of outlining in good detail all of the salient points. I don't always agree with her, but on this point especially she is deadly right. I don't know any girls who have danced with me for years and years that would think anything like this is a good idea right now. Bad, bad precedent to be set.

I am not saying that we don't deserve to be treated as well as others who have the supposed protection of the classification of 'employee'; but in reality those 'perks' do not really add up. Being from a right-to-work state here, it's even less protection than states that require an employer to justify firing you for a 'good' reason. There's just so much more to this than 'lost wages'.

I'm tempted to say "someone call the waaaambulance" but I understand we are all having a hard time in this economy. This is the end result of greedy owners and managers = too many clubs; too many girls.

Again, as I've said before, the owners have only themselves to blame for things like this. I guess they'll learn somehow!!


BTW, this is coming from a veteran of close to 15 years who, on her fifth year, took her contract she had signed with the club to a lawyer and tried, foolishly, to find a way to force the club to treat her according to the letter of the law.
Ha.
Trust me, I know how to work from within the system better than trying to get the gov't to make the system work.

Earl_the_Pearl
06-05-2009, 11:33 PM
There is no way dancers are independent contractors. My doctor is an independent contractor. I don't tell her when to see me she tells me. I don't tell her where and how to poke and prod she does it without any direction from me.

Dancers will have to put up with the B.S. from club owners as long as they can't put up a united front. I have never heard of "fines" and the like in any other industry. What a racket, you have to pay the other employees salary; how did this ever come about as it is a nation wide practice. Just think of owners like you do PLs and do them accordingly.

Kellydancer
06-05-2009, 11:47 PM
There is no way dancers are independent contractors. My doctor is an independent contractor. I don't tell her when to see me she tells me. I don't tell her where and how to poke and prod she does it without any direction from me.

Dancers will have to put up with the B.S. from club owners as long as they can't put up a united front. I have never heard of "fines" and the like in any other industry. What a racket, you have to pay the other employees salary; how did this ever come about as it is a nation wide practice. Just think of owners like you do PLs and do them accordingly.

Agreed. I never had a problem paying a house fee to a club because I usually made money. Even when I didn't I understood the game. That's it though. I don't and have never thought it was right when clubs told you what time to be there and what days, and even when you could take a break (I walked out of a club telling dancers when to work and when to take a break). Not to mention the ripoff of tips. Once again I understood tipping the dj (especially when he played my music), the bouncer (if you kept the dancer safe), or the host/server who helped sell a room/dances. But tipping managers who did nothing? Or tipping everyone, whether they helped you or not? I never believed in that. I only tipped those who helped me. I also walked out of a club where you had to pay a $50 house, along with splitting half of the dance fee, and requiring tips for every other employee (most were making a salary).

Ms. Mia Roberts
06-06-2009, 02:23 AM
Um....this is NOT a good thing for us.

Please go read the thread about the NY new law.

These girls must be young or inexperienced. Are you kidding?? To classify us as employees is to bring a world of trouble to us; and seriously cut our earning potential. The detrimental effects far outweigh any benefits. Please go read the thread I suggested, Melonie does a great job of outlining in good detail all of the salient points. I don't always agree with her, but on this point especially she is deadly right. I don't know any girls who have danced with me for years and years that would think anything like this is a good idea right now. Bad, bad precedent to be set.

I am not saying that we don't deserve to be treated as well as others who have the supposed protection of the classification of 'employee'; but in reality those 'perks' do not really add up. Being from a right-to-work state here, it's even less protection than states that require an employer to justify firing you for a 'good' reason. There's just so much more to this than 'lost wages'.

I'm tempted to say "someone call the waaaambulance" but I understand we are all having a hard time in this economy. This is the end result of greedy owners and managers = too many clubs; too many girls.

Again, as I've said before, the owners have only themselves to blame for things like this. I guess they'll learn somehow!!


BTW, this is coming from a veteran of close to 15 years who, on her fifth year, took her contract she had signed with the club to a lawyer and tried, foolishly, to find a way to force the club to treat her according to the letter of the law.
Ha.
Trust me, I know how to work from within the system better than trying to get the gov't to make the system work.

hmm, well basically the reason why alot of you disagree, seems to me like you have wiggle room at your clubs (this may also be a regional thing... so you can't compare you club(s) to everyone elses)

however, the clubs I have worked at have treated me LIKE AN EMPLOYEE. My beef is if we ARE independent contractors, someone needs to say STOP TREATING US LIKE FUCKIN EMPLOYEES!!

I never said that we had to be employees, but i would rather be an employee than a "fake" independent contractor

The clubs i have been to MAKE US COME DURING THIER SCHEDULE, we don't really choose our days

and we get FINED for things like being late, missing work, misconduct on the floor, missing your stage set, etc. etc.

We are also FORCED to pay a "tip out" to the DJ, Housemom, Bouncers, Doorman, etc. and NOT allowed to issue them 1099's since we are paying them for services...

And on top of all that, the clubs take huge cuts and have expensive house fees!

so, since i am already being treated like an employee...ATLEAST can i have employee benefits?

I don't think it would be beneficial to club owners either to make us employees... then it would be harder for them to tax evade....:-X

so maybe this will scare some owners into treating their dancers more LIKE independent contractors for fear of being sued.

Melonie
06-06-2009, 04:55 AM
^^^ granted that from the standpoint of a 'greedy' clubowner, it is definitely in the clubowner's own financial interest to try and implement a 'best of both worlds' situation. This has resulted in clubowners gradually requiring that dancers work pre-determined hours on pre-determined days, requiring that dancers pay mandatory tipouts to DJ's and bouncers, requiring that dancers wear certain types of costumes and provide certain types of stage / private dance performances etc. ... which are all 'employer' perogatives. At the same time the clubowners wish to avoid the additional costs of paying tipped minimum wage, paying unemployment and workmen's comp insurance premiums, sacrificing the ability to charge dancers 'house fees', etc. which are all 'employer' mandates.

While the clubowners may want to establish a 'hybrid' business model where they are able to enjoy the 'control' of an employer and at the same time avoid 'employer' costs of doing business, state gov'ts / departments of labor have no such 'hybrid' business model in their law books. By the letter of the law, a clubowner must either fully treat dancers as independent contractors, or fully treat dancers as (tipped) employees. And, for better or worse, in virtually every case where dancers and clubowners have wound up in front of a DOL ( or state court ) hearing, the decision has come down that dancers fall under the legal status of 'statutory employees'.

Personally speaking, I am in total agreement with you that in an 'ideal world' it would be nice if DOL's ( or state courts ) would take the position of ruling that clubowners must stop trying to apply 'employer' perogatives ( i.e. schedules hours and shifts etc.) and start treating dancers as fully independent contractors. However, there is virtually NO examples of this position ever having been taken by DOL's ( or state courts ). Thus in the 'real world', every time the question of dancers being independent contractors or employees goes up in front of a judge, another decision of 'statutory employee' status comes back down.

There is absolutely no question that treating dancers as 'statutory employees' costs the clubowner far more money. The real question is whether or not treating dancers as 'statutory employees' costs the DANCERS more money - which clearly seems to be the case as well. In fact, it is arguable that the ONLY dancers who actually benefit from such lawsuits are those dancers specifically named in said lawsuits - who are likely to be awarded some sort of damages by the DOL ( or state court ). Of course, those dancers actually being able to collect those damages is an entirely different question !!!

I would follow up by pointing out another historical tidbit regarding clubs that have 'lost' such lawsuits and have thus been required to start treating their dancers as 'statutory employees'. The vast majority quickly go out of business ( at least technically speaking) since the additional 'employer' costs involved are unbearable. You then wind up with a 'new business entity' taking over operation of the same strip club building ... a 'new business entity' that was not bound by the previous DOL / court decision ... and a reversion to the 'hybrid' business model.

The new wrinkle with the New York dancer's 'permit' law is that it would no longer address the issue of dancers being 'statutory employees' on a club by club basis. Instead it would mandate that the NY DOL begin active enforcement at every topless alcohol strip club in the whole state. As such, it would take away all NY clubowner's existing ability to 'evade' DOL 'statutory employee' rulings by simply changing the legal name of the business / filing an 'orchestrated' bankruptcy etc. since any new business entity taking over operations of a NY topless alcohol club would immediately fall under the jurisdiction of any and every state-wide DOL ruling re treating dancers as 'statutory employees'.

~

verfolgung
06-06-2009, 06:11 AM
... so, since i am already being treated like an employee...ATLEAST can i have employee benefits? ...

Ms. Mia, I once thought as you did, that dancers should become classified and treated as employees. However, after reading many of the very well written posts by Melonie and others I've come to realize that becoming employees will not end up solving all of the problems, and may actually result in significant detriments and many unforseen consquences.

You ask, "can I have employee benefits?" Well maybe and maybe not. As Mel has pointed out in other threads, what happens when you become classified as an employee, and then the club fully within their powers restricts the number of hours per week you can work so that you never be more than a "part-time" employee who does not have to be given benefits.

I now fully agree with the position that it would be far better to fight towards being true independent contractors, and removing the policies that have employer/employee lienings.

pornlaw
06-06-2009, 09:57 AM
This may not be a strippers vs. club issue.

For the past several years, the state of California has been trying to treat porn performers as employees instead of independant contractors. With the economy in a recession and state's budgets shrinking, they are looking for new sources of tax revenue. And they usually look towards industries that have notoriously underpayed taxes. ie, pole taxes in some states.

If dancers were employees it would actually increase taxes for the state., ie payroll, insurance ect. It would also make it easier to access fines against businesses not complying with it as well.

Just something to consider...

Earl_the_Pearl
06-06-2009, 11:42 AM
Braking the law is never the answer. Ether independent contractor or employee. Doesn't a contractor require a contract?

Deogol
06-06-2009, 06:42 PM
Dancers will have to put up with the B.S. from club owners as long as they can't put up a united front. I have never heard of "fines" and the like in any other industry. What a racket, you have to pay the other employees salary; how did this ever come about as it is a nation wide practice. Just think of owners like you do PLs and do them accordingly.

I have heard of fines in other industries - particularly in heavy equipment manufacturing. If the machine is not out the door by a particular date - the manufacturer is often fined as defined by a contract. Usually this is because the machine is scheduled to be in operation and making money. If it is not there, it is not making money and the manufacturer pays for it.

Government contracting also deals with a lot of fining. Don't make a milestone - fine. Get 99% of the req done instead of 100% - fine. (I have seen one sentence cost $100,000.) Luckily, most government contractors know this and so they pad their quote. One of the reasons government contracting is so expensive - the weasels are always looking to take it's money back.

I don't need to bring up the legal system and the fines that can be imposed on lawyers or court personnel for screwing up on their clients or by the judicial system.

Take a look at most commercial/residential lease agreements. You will find a list of fines in there and you are the customer!

Basically, if you don't make minimum wage - there is the possibility of you or your company being fined in some way or manner.

All that said, I agree - most strip club fees are BS.

Melonie
06-06-2009, 07:39 PM
For the past several years, the state of California has been trying to treat porn performers as employees instead of independant contractors. With the economy in a recession and state's budgets shrinking, they are looking for new sources of tax revenue. And they usually look towards industries that have notoriously underpayed taxes. ie, pole taxes in some states.

If dancers were employees it would actually increase taxes for the state., ie payroll, insurance ect. It would also make it easier to access fines against businesses not complying with it as well.

If I'm not mistaken, the same California DOL has already declared that all California exotic dancers are 'statutory employees'. However, enforcement efforts have been limited to specific clubs involved in specific lawsuits.



I have heard of fines in other industries - particularly in heavy equipment manufacturing. If the machine is not out the door by a particular date - the manufacturer is often fined as defined by a contract

In New York clubs at least, the dancer's 'application' constitutes a contract. This in turn places the dancer in tacit acceptance of club 'rules' and resulting fines if those 'rules' are not followed.



This may not be a strippers vs. club issue.

It certainly isn't in the case of the new New York exotic dancer 'sex performer permit' bill ! The bill's sponsor has gone on record stating that a major intent of the new bill is to allow the state to collect it's 'cut' of taxes from lap dance earnings !


PS PornLaw, would you care to offer an opinion in the New York sex performer 'permit' thread ?

~

pornlaw
06-06-2009, 09:45 PM
PS PornLaw, would you care to offer an opinion in the New York sex performer 'permit' thread ?


Sure I will take a look at that thread...

Kylea2
06-06-2009, 10:06 PM
A-FUCKIN-MEN!!!

FINALLY


i was wondering when someone was going to bring this up in court...

i hope it blows up all over the news.... but i think my hopes are way too high


It's been brought up plenty of other times, trust me, this is NOT a new argument. The question though is do you really want to be an employee? I don't! Do you realize what that means? It means that the club gets full control! I don't want that. I want to know that I can paint my nails whatever color I like, that I can come in whenever I want, that I control what I wear.

What I think is that dancers need to start educating themselves BEFORE they start working at a club. If a club says that they are putting you on a schedule, and you know that they aren't having you fill out a W-2... that should be a BIG RED FLAG. If you start working at a club as an independent contractor and the manager tries pulling stuff with you about your appearance, that is your opportunity to remind them that you are an independent contractor. Obviously you still need to stick to the overall look of the club like wearing gowns if it is a gown club, but if they start telling you want color gown, what prints etc they are crossing the line. If reminding them about the law doesn't work then contact an attorney.

There are so many things that would be horrible for dancers if we were employees. Like dancers are asked not to return when they have been mean to other dancers, if they were regular employees they would probably have to get multiple warnings and go through the whole paper trail of being reprimanded. If a dancer is being rude/mean it is best for the rest of the dancers if the managers have the right to tell her not to return. What about being forced to work overtime? Personally, I enjoy knowing that I can leave at will rather than being forced to work more. If I were an employee the the employer could demand that I work overtime, and would simply have to pay me time and a half. That's not really a good thing if say you have a flight or class at a certain time that you need to be at. Oh, and let's not forget that the government would AUTOMATICALLY get a portion of your paycheck, which means that you don't have a chance to invest it before paying taxes. They are just going to take it right away and then give it back to you if they took too much. No thanks!

There are pluses and minuses to the employee & independent contractor statuses. Personally though, i would rather be an independent contractor.

Earl_the_Pearl
06-07-2009, 07:29 PM
In New York clubs at least, the dancer's 'application' constitutes a contract.

I have never seen dancer sign a contract; they do have to sign in but that is it.

Earl_the_Pearl
06-07-2009, 07:35 PM
It's been brought up plenty of other times, trust me, this is NOT a new argument. The question though is do you really want to be an employee? I don't! Do you realize what that means? It means that the club gets full control! I don't want that. I want to know that I can paint my nails whatever color I like, that I can come in whenever I want, that I control what I wear.

I don't know where you work but the clubs do have full control. Dancers can no longer show up when they please and dance at the time the club dictates. As for being able to tell a dancer not to come in again unless there is a contract an employee can quit without reason and can be let go without reason.

Kylea2
06-07-2009, 07:47 PM
I don't know where you work but the clubs do have full control. Dancers can no longer show up when they please and dance at the time the club dictates. As for being able to tell a dancer not to come in again unless there is a contract an employee can quit without reason and can be let go without reason.

Did you not just read what I wrote? You need to go read the laws about the difference between and independent contractor and an employee. You sound just as bad as these dancers that don't know the difference. Just because a company does something doesn't mean it's right... they should know what's going on BEFORE they get involved.

Otoki
06-23-2009, 02:27 PM
I'm doing a little jig right now. My club treats us as independent contractors specifically because when it was trying to open up there was a lawsuit like this going down. They don't treat us like employees, so we get the freedom of ICs. I'll be interested in how this turns out, but mostly I'm happy that the greedy douche who owns KOD is getting his.

millions_of_peaches
06-29-2009, 09:19 PM
The owner of the club is greedy and certainly deserves this, believe me, but that is beside the point. He is going to prison for tax evasion (last I heard, it was two years), had to sell the club to his wife in order to 'keep' it, and had to pay the IRS better than a mill. I think either the girls or some lawyer saw a weak spot and decided to go for it, possibly thinking they could get more money this way than continuing to dance. It started with two girls and I have it by good authority that it is now better than 100. The owner of this club is pretty intelligent and likely still has a good amount of money sacked away somewhere safe, and I fear this may not go well for future dancers. Just my opinion, of course.

The other clubs 'different approaches to paying performers', are the result of earlier lawsuits. Two such 'approaches' involve paying a fee to the club and at the end of the week getting a check, and paying 'rent' for lap dances, but keeping (usually minimal) stage tips (and everyone still having their hand out at the end of the night or you will get f***ed with). Contracts are signed agreeing to these terms. The result = dancers still paying to work, but now it is 'legal' AND having to abide by the CLUB's terms.

**The club Otoki refers to does seem to be the exception to the rule.

LilMissSophie
07-03-2009, 12:30 AM
I could go on about this forever...

I don't think we should be employees either, but I find it grossly unfair that we are treated as such without the rights and benefits. We are also unable to enjoy the benefits of being an independent contractor as well.

This reminds me of a quote that Avalon posted in another thread: "Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered." Unfortunately, this is not the case for strip clubs.

Most clubs have found just about every way to stick their hand in the cookie jar. It isn't enough that they make a considerable amount of income from cover charges and ridiculously overpriced drink sales, they have also been able to institute hefty stage fees for dancers in addition to taking a significant portion of the dancers lapdance and champagne room sales. My current club takes 40% of my dance income in addition to a $48 minimum (although I always tip more than that) of house fees/tipouts which are required regardless of whether you made money. It's always wonderful to find out that after having a bad night, the vip manager made a few hundred more than you while also being paid a salary.

The bottom line is, even though customers come to strip clubs to see us--(without dancers there would not be a strip club) dancers are required to pay for the privilege of working there, required to pay support staff (in many instances, "support" is a very loose term), and also required to fork over a substantial portion of our tips.

I'll never see 40% of the door and bar money, so what entitles them to 40% of mine?

Nothing really. They just can just take it. If you don't like it, you can go elsewhere. 40% is currently the best split in my area, so why would I?

They can also dictate what you wear, when you work, late fees for not arriving on time, missing stage sets (not at my current club, but others), etc. etc.

I recall one time I was told I wasn't "allowed" to go upstairs to take a bathroom break unless I checked with a floor manager. I was livid. I PAY TO WORK HERE AND YOU'RE TELLING ME I HAVE TO ASK PERMISSION TO GO TO THE BATHROOM? Luckily they agreed with me or else I may have quit. That was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard in my life.

I wish there were some way to fix this, but unless there's a united front against it (although a stripper union sounds like a nightmare from hell far worse than what's going on now) we just have to suck it up and be grateful we are able to make the money we can.

firemaiden04
07-03-2009, 10:23 AM
I've heard my club is being investigated for the whole house fee thing. Another local club had the same thing happen, and they were forced to pay back house fees they'd accumulated over the past several years. Some of the dancers who work at my club now are receiving their checks, and they're for pretty substantial amounts.

Otoki
07-06-2009, 01:41 PM
The owner of the club is greedy and certainly deserves this, believe me, but that is beside the point. He is going to prison for tax evasion (last I heard, it was two years), had to sell the club to his wife in order to 'keep' it, and had to pay the IRS better than a mill. I think either the girls or some lawyer saw a weak spot and decided to go for it, possibly thinking they could get more money this way than continuing to dance. It started with two girls and I have it by good authority that it is now better than 100. The owner of this club is pretty intelligent and likely still has a good amount of money sacked away somewhere safe, and I fear this may not go well for future dancers. Just my opinion, of course.

The other clubs 'different approaches to paying performers', are the result of earlier lawsuits. Two such 'approaches' involve paying a fee to the club and at the end of the week getting a check, and paying 'rent' for lap dances, but keeping (usually minimal) stage tips (and everyone still having their hand out at the end of the night or you will get f***ed with). Contracts are signed agreeing to these terms. The result = dancers still paying to work, but now it is 'legal' AND having to abide by the CLUB's terms.

**The club Otoki refers to does seem to be the exception to the rule.

It is, in fact the exception to the rule. This is because the lawsuit against Solid Gold had already happened by the time the owner of my club was trying to open his, so he simply made it clear that the entertainers would be independent contractors in both name and function. We call in if we can't/don't want to work, and cannot be penalized for it. We pay a minimal lease fee each shift (Sundays and Mondays are no longer free, but still very reasonable). We have a loose schedule, but they cannot penalize us for not working (besides firing us if we just don't show up over and over again). So, thanks to the previous lawsuits, our club treats us as independent contractors.

Elvia
07-06-2009, 02:56 PM
Kylea, I agree that what you're saying makes sense in theory. But in practice, it doesn't really make a difference for a lot of us. Many of us work in areas where schedule is mandatory at most or all clubs, and we still have to pay house fees. And I don't hear about a lot of clubs that care so much about the dancers that they immediately get rid of girls just for being mean to the other dancers.

I understand the concerns about becoming employees, but something really has to be done at this point. This situation is just getting worse and worse as clubs come up with more ways to cheat us out of more and more money, and as those practices become more and more common.

firemaiden04
07-07-2009, 08:47 AM
I think becoming an employee actually sounds like a good thing. I've worked at a hotel where the housekeeping staff was considered full time when they worked at least 28 hours a week. They had full benefits as well. I think if the clubs could come up with a system tailored to the kind of hours we work, it could succeed. Of course, the fact that most clubs really don't give a fuck about the dancers and just want to rip everyone off as often as possible so they can make even more money makes this difficult. But there has to be some club out there that has implemented a successful strategy.

Otoki
07-07-2009, 09:13 AM
I think becoming an employee actually sounds like a good thing. I've worked at a hotel where the housekeeping staff was considered full time when they worked at least 28 hours a week. They had full benefits as well. I think if the clubs could come up with a system tailored to the kind of hours we work, it could succeed. Of course, the fact that most clubs really don't give a fuck about the dancers and just want to rip everyone off as often as possible so they can make even more money makes this difficult. But there has to be some club out there that has implemented a successful strategy.
I doubt this would happen. If the dancers are employees, then I wonder how much of the dance money the club will claim? I foresee dancers only being able to dance enough hours to be PART time, so the club won't have to give them benefits. I can only see this as bad.

Paris
07-07-2009, 12:11 PM
The pressure to start treating dancers as employees is going to have to come from within the industry, not from the courts or state legislature. California, Alaska, Oregon, Montana are places that I know for sure have judgments against strip clubs for treating dancers as IC when legally they fit the employee guidelines. Has anything changed in the 10+ years since these judgments? No.

If anything, the pressure on dancers has gotten more intense, with higher house fees and higher performance minimums (mandatory schedules).

Not until the competition for talent gets a lot more intense (not likely to happen any time soon) will clubs consider reducing house fees, fines and/or paying a wage to the entertainers. As long as dancers are willing to work under the current conditions, nothing is going to change.

Gia2608
07-07-2009, 12:39 PM
I completely agree with you Paris! And unfortunately, the vast majority of dancers (the girls here aside) either do not want to make waves or are too inexperienced/ don't care enough to do anything about it, and if you try to get the girls at your club to speak up you will look like you are on a soap box!

atlmorgan
07-07-2009, 01:22 PM
I sued a club several years ago for misclassifacation of i.c. they DID have us sign contracts -didn't me shit.We settled(would have been more if co-workers involved would have had a spine!) but I got a few bucks back and a bit of revenge! They really treated us like shit!!!!!! It has since been bull dozed-YAY! That alone is priceless to me!Got the idea from the law suit filed in chicago 4ever ago they got wages and daycare how bout that! Go Ladies!!!

Anastacia79
07-11-2009, 12:38 PM
in theory being an employee and getting paid woulld be great, BUT
*If you are getting paid by the club, you must be earning money FOR the club in some way.
*It is expensive to keep employees- and THE CLUBS WOULD FIND A WAY TO MAKE YOU PAY FOR THEIR COSTS.
This means your money would be taxed twice, once when it goes to the club, and again when it comes back to you out of your paycheck. And, whats to keep clubs from taking more if they can get away with it? I think if we were truly employees we would all be making 40% less
On the plus side clubs would be much pickier about who they hire, which would up the quality of our industry, but on the downside, the clubs would find a way to make us pay for the money they are loosing by having to pay us a wage, along with unemployment, taxes, and whatnot. Being an employee instead of an independent contractor would save you from those 30 dollar nights, but it would also seriously cut into your 600 and 900 dollar nights.
Also, if your an employee and some really disgusting guy wants to do a priviate dance, it will be harder for you to walk away because it will be YOUR AND THE CLUBS money lost, not just yours.

Melonie
07-11-2009, 03:57 PM
it will be harder for you to walk away because it will be YOUR AND THE CLUBS money lost, not just yours.

This is a very good point that I hadn't previously considered. As 'statutory employees', the work product of the employee belongs to the employer NOT the employee. Thus the employer is totally within their rights to require that employee dancers perform standard services offered by the club (i.e. private dances, VIP) for ANY paying customer ... without regard to the customer's age / personal appearance / attitude / sleaze factor. If an employee dancer failed to do so, it would be legal grounds for the employer club to fire her !

Otoki
07-13-2009, 11:57 AM
This is a very good point that I hadn't previously considered. As 'statutory employees', the work product of the employee belongs to the employer NOT the employee. Thus the employer is totally within their rights to require that employee dancers perform standard services offered by the club (i.e. private dances, VIP) for ANY paying customer ... without regard to the customer's age / personal appearance / attitude / sleaze factor. If an employee dancer failed to do so, it would be legal grounds for the employer club to fire her !
I definitely didn't consider that, either! How horrid.

BuxomBeauty
07-14-2009, 02:30 AM
One of the booking clubs I work was sued by a dancer for collecting illegal stage fees. The dancer won a judgment for all her stage fees plus a 50% penalty because it is illegal in that state for any employer to take any tips from the workers. However, that club still charges stage fees....more than double what they charged when that girl sued. Basically, the club raised stage fees to pay for that lawsuit.

Suing a club is NEVER going to end well for the dancers left working there. Even if the girls who sue win and get paid, it will only hurt the girls who work there after. Guess who ultimately ends up paying for these lawsuits and judgements? THE GIRLS WHO STILL WORK AT THE CLUBS.

It's the same thing that happens when a mainstream business gets sued and their remaining customers pay for it in the form of raised prices and/or cost-cutting which decreases product value.

So to all the girls who sue clubs I have to say a giant FUCK YOU.

Otoki
07-14-2009, 08:47 AM
One of the booking clubs I work was sued by a dancer for collecting illegal stage fees. The dancer won a judgment for all her stage fees plus a 50% penalty because it is illegal in that state for any employer to take any tips from the workers. However, that club still charges stage fees....more than double what they charged when that girl sued. Basically, the club raised stage fees to pay for that lawsuit.

Suing a club is NEVER going to end well for the dancers left working there. Even if the girls who sue win and get paid, it will only hurt the girls who work there after. Guess who ultimately ends up paying for these lawsuits and judgements? THE GIRLS WHO STILL WORK AT THE CLUBS.

It's the same thing that happens when a mainstream business gets sued and their remaining customers pay for it in the form of raised prices and/or cost-cutting which decreases product value.

So to all the girls who sue clubs I have to say a giant FUCK YOU.


Why are you angry at the girls who sued the club? It's the club raising stage fee, and it's the club doing illegal shit. Fuck the clubs, not the girls who upheld their own rights as workers.

BuxomBeauty
07-14-2009, 09:41 AM
The thing is, if we know anything about the way clubs work, we know they will find any way they can to screw us, and girls suing them will only be used as a reason to screw us more. Suing clubs doesn't help anyone, except maybe the few girls who might get a payout for the short term, but they sure do hurt the girls still dancing. It's not just increased stage fees (although that is the most blatant negative effect), but also fewer rights to conduct our business the way we choose and lowered "commissions" on our own sales, to be brief.

There are better ways to stand up for workers' rights. Lawsuits are counter-productive.

I can get behind girls organizing on a national level to invoke widespread industry change, but I will never be able to support these useless local lawsuits.

Lisa G
07-14-2009, 10:06 AM
I don't want the club I work in to consider me an employee. That would give them too much control over my day to day life and that's not what I signed up for. I don't want them telling me when I have to dance, what I have to wear, who I have to dance for and how I have to do it.

Right now I have no set schedule and permission from all the shift managers to come in when I want. I pay a single house fee that varies depending on what shift I decided to work. I tip everyone who helps me and no one who doesn't. I like it that way.

Sure, employee status does have some advantages ... health benefits, vacation time, civil recourse for labor problems, etc. But, for me, the disadvantages are far greater. I like having my freedom and being able to do my job on my own terms.

BuxomBeauty
07-14-2009, 12:24 PM
^This is why a whole lot of us choose to strip instead of do a regular job. Personally, if I wanted to be an employee I'd go get a regular job. I strip because I like the freedom, the cash and being able to manage my own business.

Making us real employees would take away the very reason many, if not most, of us strip.

Otoki
07-16-2009, 04:19 AM
The thing is, if we know anything about the way clubs work, we know they will find any way they can to screw us, and girls suing them will only be used as a reason to screw us more. Suing clubs doesn't help anyone, except maybe the few girls who might get a payout for the short term, but they sure do hurt the girls still dancing. It's not just increased stage fees (although that is the most blatant negative effect), but also fewer rights to conduct our business the way we choose and lowered "commissions" on our own sales, to be brief.

There are better ways to stand up for workers' rights. Lawsuits are counter-productive.

I can get behind girls organizing on a national level to invoke widespread industry change, but I will never be able to support these useless local lawsuits.
Do you honestly think that organizing at the national level is a realistic possibility as things stand right now? I don't, largely because each county is so different in terms of laws/regulations, clubs, clientele, culture, etc. that reaching a consensus on a national level is close to nil.

Frankly, I think entertainers suing a club for doing something ILLEGAL (treating ICs like employees without any benefits) then the entertainers are doing the right thing by suing the club.

In the MPLS club in the OP, the owner is a greedy fucker who is in huge trouble for tax fraud, takes tons of money from the girls, was letting the rules slide for the sake of money, etc etc etc. Hell, if I worked there for years I would TOTALLY sue that asshole. That club went from being one of the more decent places to work, to a club where all sorts of things are allowed (not as bad as some clubs, but definitely hard for no-contact girls to make money if they don't have regs).

X Evan X
07-21-2009, 02:59 AM
..*It is expensive to keep employees- and THE CLUBS WOULD FIND A WAY TO MAKE YOU PAY FOR THEIR COSTS....
I speak from experience. This is what happens.

A major club in Atlanta lost a very similar lawsuit around '96 or '97. (not Gold Club, that's a different story altogether)

-E

Almost Jaded
07-21-2009, 02:09 PM
No, fuck the other girls that back out.

The only reason the clubs go back to business as usual and/or take it out on everyone else is because they gt away with it, because one or a couple of girls follow through and the rest back down. Believe me - a good lawyer and a solid number of dancers would OWN the club when they were done. Frankly I'm amazed this doesn't happen all the time, let alone never.

The VAST majority of the clubs I've known girls at or talked to girls from there, operate in unimaginable violation of local and federal employment laws regarding 1099 employees virtually all the time. It would not be hard to keep your 1099 upsides and get rid of the BS - but you can't have 80% of the participants refuse to participate for fear of backlash. If you see it through, there won't BE backlash.

Sadly, this is prevalent in many places, not just strip clubs. :(

Earl_the_Pearl
07-21-2009, 08:06 PM
...but you can't have 80% of the participants refuse to participate for fear of backlash.
Sadly, this is prevalent in many places, not just strip clubs. :(
It depends on who the backlash is coming from. Represented workers with a business manager can bring pressure.

Otoki
07-26-2009, 01:01 PM
No, fuck the other girls that back out.

The only reason the clubs go back to business as usual and/or take it out on everyone else is because they gt away with it, because one or a couple of girls follow through and the rest back down. Believe me - a good lawyer and a solid number of dancers would OWN the club when they were done. Frankly I'm amazed this doesn't happen all the time, let alone never.

The VAST majority of the clubs I've known girls at or talked to girls from there, operate in unimaginable violation of local and federal employment laws regarding 1099 employees virtually all the time. It would not be hard to keep your 1099 upsides and get rid of the BS - but you can't have 80% of the participants refuse to participate for fear of backlash. If you see it through, there won't BE backlash.

Sadly, this is prevalent in many places, not just strip clubs. :(
This is, indeed, the main problem. If most of the girls were on board, the club COULDN'T take it out on them afterwards.

Almost Jaded
07-27-2009, 04:58 PM
Otoki agrees with me for once! Yay! LOL Seriously though - I like your posts and am always sad when we're on opposing sides of something, lol.

The club I met MM at was the worst. I said "was" - IS. The owner is a nice guy in person for the most part, but he mistreats his dancers and violates both laws and his own contracts to a truly remarkable degree.

Not that most others are much better.

When Scores was open here and y ex was dancing there, they backed right down. She'd been there almost 2 years, and they started requiring certain shifts, even assigning certain girls certain nights and FINING them if they showed up different times or were "late". First time they tried to fine her/send her home/fine her for "being late" I went over her contract with her and she went back and pointed out that her contract said what it said when she started and that it had never been amended. They backed right off, refunded her fine, and never said another word, lol. Not a very common story though. :(

Otoki
07-28-2009, 02:45 PM
Otoki agrees with me for once! Yay! LOL Seriously though - I like your posts and am always sad when we're on opposing sides of something, lol.

The club I met MM at was the worst. I said "was" - IS. The owner is a nice guy in person for the most part, but he mistreats his dancers and violates both laws and his own contracts to a truly remarkable degree.

Not that most others are much better.

When Scores was open here and y ex was dancing there, they backed right down. She'd been there almost 2 years, and they started requiring certain shifts, even assigning certain girls certain nights and FINING them if they showed up different times or were "late". First time they tried to fine her/send her home/fine her for "being late" I went over her contract with her and she went back and pointed out that her contract said what it said when she started and that it had never been amended. They backed right off, refunded her fine, and never said another word, lol. Not a very common story though. :(
I've definitely done something similar. I was out of the country for a couple weeks, and came back to work. I found out that the club had changed its lease fee policy, but that many girls (including myself) had yet to sign new contracts. So when it came time to pay up I pointed out that I would have to read and sign said contract BEFORE my shift started in order to LEGALLY pay the new fees.

It's amazing how much clubs think they can get away with, because so many girls don't know their rights.

Hey, we've agreed quite a few times. Just not on everything.:)

Nakita Kash
07-31-2009, 05:05 PM
Um....this is NOT a good thing for us.

These girls must be young or inexperienced. Are you kidding?? To classify us as employees is to bring a world of trouble to us; and seriously cut our earning potential.

I don't agree. There are many clubs across the country that have a 'dancer employee with pay' system in place and they are doing fine...great actually. If I owned a club I would make the entertainers employees to justly require shifts, hours, stage shows and wardrobe. IMO, the only girls that would hate this are the lazy and irresponsible girls who like the "freedom" of being a 'come as I please' & 'get as drunk as I want' type of dancer. Being an employee would require a level of responsibility that some clubs have a hard time enforcing on their dancers. I see it all over the place. In fact, that is one of the reasons that my Traveling Entertainers agency is in biz...because some clubs have lazy local girls.

I will agree that these girls might be young and inexperienced. But, there have been suits like this before and there hasn't been any major positive or negative lashback from it.

Gia2608
07-31-2009, 05:55 PM
I certainly think there are a lot of different pov's on this subject and all of them valid. Except one. The idea that clubs "have" to raise stage fees or pass along these extra costs of doing business to the girls. Hog Wash! I worked at one particular club long enough to occasionally overhear the amount of alcohol sales that were rung in daily... A "bad" day shift only sold $700 of drinks in cash. Nevermind the $5 for every dance they collected from the girls. So we have twenty girls, lets say they each do 4 dances (you know to average it out and make a nice even number because some girls did 10 and some did none, etc). That's 80x 5 or $400. Now keep in mind the club gets between $1 and $10 each car parked. It was a bad day so lets say there were a total of 30 cars. Theres another $100 at least. Plus, we have the VIPS. The club gets during the day $75 for a half hour and $100- $150 for an hour. There were 20 girls so lets say seven rooms are sold. Thats between $500 and $1000 dollars.

So even before we factor in house fees, this terribly slow day shift earned between $1,300 and what $2,450 or something, I'm kind of making up these figures as I go, but......

The shift is about to change and for night shift all of these numbers will at least triple because I know that Friday nights they ring about $10K at one bar alone, never mind that they actually have two bars in here.

Now repeat this seven days a week. Even if this terrible day turned into a terrible week, he's grossed about 21K (which really is probably MUCH much higher), or 84K for the month

All of his expenses are: taxes, advertising in the Hooker Book $400 a mo for a full page ad but this guy gets two pages and most likely a discount., buying the liqour at rock bottom prices, the occasional remodel, $10 an hour salary to the bouncers because they are tipped out by the dancers, his maintence is performed by customers in exchange for bar tabs (very shrewd!), the dj's own their own music and are tipped by the girls, the managers have a salary in the high 30's and are also tipped by the girls.

He also doesn't pay an hourly wage to the waitresses or bartenders and the kitchen in two of his clubs is run by an outside person as if it were their own restaurants so they also bear all of the costs and all of the profits of that.

This particular club owner is worth a fantastic amount of money, rumored to be in the tens of millions because ho owns like 5 clubs. Thankfully HE hasn't upped stage fees but if he can make that kinda money all from originally one small club that he owned with friends (which he bought out over the years) then they're ALL making that kind of money.

Otoki
08-02-2009, 10:38 AM
I certainly think there are a lot of different pov's on this subject and all of them valid. Except one. The idea that clubs "have" to raise stage fees or pass along these extra costs of doing business to the girls. Hog Wash! I worked at one particular club long enough to occasionally overhear the amount of alcohol sales that were rung in daily... A "bad" day shift only sold $700 of drinks in cash. Nevermind the $5 for every dance they collected from the girls. So we have twenty girls, lets say they each do 4 dances (you know to average it out and make a nice even number because some girls did 10 and some did none, etc). That's 80x 5 or $400. Now keep in mind the club gets between $1 and $10 each car parked. It was a bad day so lets say there were a total of 30 cars. Theres another $100 at least. Plus, we have the VIPS. The club gets during the day $75 for a half hour and $100- $150 for an hour. There were 20 girls so lets say seven rooms are sold. Thats between $500 and $1000 dollars.

So even before we factor in house fees, this terribly slow day shift earned between $1,300 and what $2,450 or something, I'm kind of making up these figures as I go, but......

The shift is about to change and for night shift all of these numbers will at least triple because I know that Friday nights they ring about $10K at one bar alone, never mind that they actually have two bars in here.

Now repeat this seven days a week. Even if this terrible day turned into a terrible week, he's grossed about 21K (which really is probably MUCH much higher), or 84K for the month

All of his expenses are: taxes, advertising in the Hooker Book $400 a mo for a full page ad but this guy gets two pages and most likely a discount., buying the liqour at rock bottom prices, the occasional remodel, $10 an hour salary to the bouncers because they are tipped out by the dancers, his maintence is performed by customers in exchange for bar tabs (very shrewd!), the dj's own their own music and are tipped by the girls, the managers have a salary in the high 30's and are also tipped by the girls.

He also doesn't pay an hourly wage to the waitresses or bartenders and the kitchen in two of his clubs is run by an outside person as if it were their own restaurants so they also bear all of the costs and all of the profits of that.

This particular club owner is worth a fantastic amount of money, rumored to be in the tens of millions because ho owns like 5 clubs. Thankfully HE hasn't upped stage fees but if he can make that kinda money all from originally one small club that he owned with friends (which he bought out over the years) then they're ALL making that kind of money.
Thank you.

If club owners up the fees, it's because they're greedy and the business isn't going as well as it should to absorb the occasional lawsuit.

At the Choice the joke (and truth) was that every time the owner got arrested for drug possession, house fees went up.

lildreamer316
08-04-2009, 08:04 PM
Gia, you're not taking into account a few other expenses any general club would have:

Utilities - electric could possibly be a biggie, depending on your lighting and sound, signage, and kitchen, etc. It really depends, but you are still looking at a decent-sized bill per week/month/etc. Water isn't usually huge, but it could have a spike or something every now and then (one of my local clubs has a topless car wash attached - lol).

Kitchen - ( I know you accounted for the particular club you were referring to) some clubs have them, some do not - but a lot of the bigger chains do, so the kitchen has to turn numbers as well as pay the chef/cook, dishwasher; etc. You may have a separate dishwasher without a kitchen anyway, depending on your local health department codes. And/or a laundry service to do the towels/tablecloths/etc. Of course there are a lot of clubs that don't have this, but it is an increasing factor.

Food costs - kinda goes with above, but even if you're just doing some basics or even peanuts or popcorn or something cheesy, you gotta remember that - it all adds up.

Cleaning Crew & Supplies - do they book from outside or expect some employees to help? Do they pay one guy or a whole group? etc.

Replacement /Fixit Fund - I dunno the right term, but you have to budget in for things like new glasses/mugs/shot glasses; chairs or stools that get broken (if you don't have enough to replace already, god knows at Christie's we just piled them up until they absolutely HAD to re-order); if something breaks down like in the lighting and sound dept; register; computer; etc.

Bulk Merchandise order - sure, this probably doesn't end up much, because we have to sell the damned things for twice or three times how much they cost wholesale, but the owner does have to pony up that money to get the merch to the club in bulk.

Taxes/Lincensing Fees/Anything government-related - there are so many different ways in different cities and states of taxing and collecting fees. Sometimes it is yearly, sometimes bi-annually; and so on. Of course some only pay certain taxes once. And I'm not including the obvious; the taxes paid out of every paycheck that goes out for regular employees.

Lawyers on Retainer; Accountants for the Biz. - a smart owner has these.

Insurance for the Club - a requirement.

Insurance for Salaried Employees - some don't have this, some do of course.


I'm sure there are a lot of things I am missing. I'm certianly not taking the owner's side over a dancer's; I'm just trying to make sure the picture is a little clearer.

Gia2608
08-04-2009, 08:43 PM
So the DANCERS who are the reason people go to drink there instead of "Joe's Crab Shack" or the "Drunken Clam" should be footed with the bil? Me thinks not.

Up the cover and the parking and let the PL's deal with it. Not the dancers. This particluar club I was talking about, the owner is most likely taking a pay cut right now but he treats his gals very well. That's why he has them lining up around the corner.

KiwiStrawberry Splenda
08-05-2009, 12:31 PM
IC law doesn't preclude that a contract cannot state certain requirements: like amount of shift time work, minimum days worked, fees, fines, etc....as long as it is stated in the contract.

However, most of these trouble clubs are making the rules up as they go along, and its not expressly discussed when the contractor (dancer) signs up with the club.

Some clubs do a pretty decent job at maintaining. If I am hired at a club, and sign a contract that says, "house fee is $XX, minimum shift if 5 hours, and minumum days worked is 3 per week" that doesn't make me an employee.

In California, some clubs give you the option of being Employee or IC. In some clubs I've worked in the past, they have considered us both both actually. A W2 paycheck was sent out for working there, based on 2/3 of minimum wage, and tips were to be reported, and a 1099 was sent out. Was this legal?