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SCD - NOLA
08-14-2012, 12:51 AM
This conversation came up when I spoke with a friend about opening a salon. She works as a hairstylist at a salon where she works on straight commission on everything she sells (haircuts, hair coloring, products she sells, etc.) plus tips. She doesn't get any benefits but the salon pays for all of her supplies/equipment. She said most hairstylists don't prefer to work on commission or hourly wages; they want to work as independent contractors where they "rent the chair" from the salon owner and keep 100% of what they sell, set their own prices, work their own schedules, etc. She also said the salon owners really don't make much money from independent contractors.

So, the point of this thread: with all of the commotion being made by former dancers suing their former employers (strip clubs) for back wages, benefits, hourly wages, etc. - how many of y'all would actually prefer employee status over being an independent contractor? Would you forgo making your own schedule and keeping all of your earnings (minus house fees and tip outs) for employee benefits and a base salary? I understand there is a risk/reward factor for independent contractors ($1000+ nights vs. nights where you owe the club money), which I'm guessing is the biggest issue for those who want to be employees. For those who choose employee, would you worry about losing the option to choose which customers you dance for (clubs could mandate that 'employees' give lap dances to any customer who requests one)? What about taxes? For those who choose independent contractor, how much do you have to budget for work expenses, health insurance, retirement/savings, 'slow months', and other costs that could be affected by becoming an employee?

For all other strip club workers (DJs, bouncers, house moms, etc.) - would you rather become salaried employees or continue to work for tips?

We already know the club owners hate the idea of making the dancers employees. I can understand their perspective. The average cost of health coverage per employee was just under $10,000 in 2011 (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/average-cost-of-us-health-coverage-per-employee-is-expected-to-cross-the-10000-threshold-for-the-first-time-in-2012-according-to-aon-hewitt-130847468.html) - imagine the health care costs for clubs with 50-100+ girls. When you factor in wages, payroll taxes, insurance on employees, and other employee benefits (paid vacation, sick days, maternity leave), etc. - most clubs will go out of business immediately.

YNOTJay
08-20-2012, 10:11 PM
One of my clients is an attorney and he wrote an article with some pretty important info. about being an independent contractor. It hasn't been published yet, but when it does (in about a week) I'd be happy to share it with you. Feel free to PM me your email addy and I can send it to you.

Kellydancer
08-20-2012, 10:19 PM
As a dancer I was both and both have advantages and disadvantages. If you work a busy club and you are a hustler being independent is much better, but if you are lazy or work a slower club being an employee is better.

SCD - NOLA
08-20-2012, 11:30 PM
One of my clients is an attorney and he wrote an article with some pretty important info. about being an independent contractor. It hasn't been published yet, but when it does (in about a week) I'd be happy to share it with you. Feel free to PM me your email addy and I can send it to you.

Yeah, that would be great. I'll PM you my email.


As a dancer I was both and both have advantages and disadvantages. If you work a busy club and you are a hustler being independent is much better, but if you are lazy or work a slower club being an employee is better.

I didn't know there were still clubs where the strippers worked as traditional employees. I thought they all disappeared.

I would think the clubs (i.e. managers/owners) would hate having the girls as employees. The struggles of the Lusty Lady (http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Lusty-Lady-needs-investment-bigger-than-1s-and-5s-3547486.php) would suggest that. What if an older dancer, who's clearly past her prime, refuses to quit and the club has to fire her because she's actually driving customers out the door? Is that age discrimination? Can she then sue the club for damages? How would other anti-discrimination laws affect the clubs?

Kelly, did you receive employee benefits like health insurance, workers' comp, paid vacation, sicks days, etc. when you worked as an employee? Were the wages decent or shitty?

My assumption was that strippers would prefer to remain independent contractors for two reasons. First, taxes. I know I'm generalizing, but a lot of strippers either don't pay taxes or are extremely dishonest in what they report. That's not uncommon for anyone in the service industry. Waiters/waitresses, bartenders, commercial fishermen...or anyone who's paid in cash has a strong incentive to under-report their earnings. Becoming an employee would mean the club would have to report what it pays its employees - which makes it infinitely more difficult to skip out on taxes.

The second reason would be that the employer would control the dancer's schedule and not the dancer herself. Obviously income is the biggest factor, but the success of each system depends on the individual girl.

In New Orleans, our summer is incredibly slow for tourism. INCREDIBLY slow. That means strip clubs aren't likely to draw much business until October or November. I'm sure that, right now, many dancers would prefer some kind of regular wage so that they don't run the risk of owing the club money (or making nothing after house fees and tip out). But that would change after the fall. I'm just curious why so many strippers are warring over employee status and a minimum wage.

Kellydancer
08-20-2012, 11:57 PM
I don't know if I received benefits but this was so long ago.

Djoser
08-21-2012, 02:52 AM
DJs are for all intents and purposes employees. We sure as shit can't just work whatever nights we choose--not unless the other DJ(s) is(are) really, really cool and flexible, and management doesn't care who works which nights.

There's a host of other factors which make the idea that we are independent contractors a joke. But I'd rather work for tips, yeah--because I know how to keep the majority of the dancers happy and tipping me well. And if I had my way there would be a lot less of the bogus double standard and a lot more independence.

From what I've seen the 'independent contractor' status of the dancers is almost as big a crock of shit. But I don't see much likelihood of it getting any better.

Great idea for a thread, BTW.

yoda57us
09-07-2012, 07:33 PM
Well, you don't always get a choice...

There have been several lawsuits brought-and won- by former dancers in Massachusetts over the last several years and all of them revolved around their status as employees of the club rather than independent contractors. The rulings in Mass were that, under Mass law, dancers had to be classified as employees. Now, several ex dancers got a lot of money in the settlements but you will actually find very few current dancers in Mass who think that the change is a good thing. There hasn't been much of a wholesale change state-wide yet but it's only a matter of time before all clubs will be forced to comply. I know dancers in several clubs who are now earning a server's wage and having taxes withheld from their "paychecks". It hasn't gotten to the point yet where clubs are collecting private dance money and paying dancers per dance but, theoretically, it could get to this.

I don't know a single dancer who likes any part of this and it's not just about dodging the IRS. I work as an IC in my industry as well and I pretty much avoid taking work from any company that wants to put me on a W2. I like having control over my money, my expenses and, lol, my deductions!

SCD - NOLA
09-07-2012, 08:53 PM
Well, you don't always get a choice...

There have been several lawsuits brought-and won- by former dancers in Massachusetts over the last several years and all of them revolved around their status as employees of the club rather than independent contractors. The rulings in Mass were that, under Mass law, dancers had to be classified as employees. Now, several ex dancers got a lot of money in the settlements but you will actually find very few current dancers in Mass who think that the change is a good thing. There hasn't been much of a wholesale change state-wide yet but it's only a matter of time before all clubs will be forced to comply. I know dancers in several clubs who are now earning a server's wage and having taxes withheld from their "paychecks". It hasn't gotten to the point yet where clubs are collecting private dance money and paying dancers per dance but, theoretically, it could get to this.

I don't know a single dancer who likes any part of this and it's not just about dodging the IRS. I work as an IC in my industry as well and I pretty much avoid taking work from any company that wants to put me on a W2. I like having control over my money, my expenses and, lol, my deductions!

That was my question - even though there are (former) strippers all over the country suing their clubs for back wages, do strippers actually prefer employee status over IC status? I guess the answer is a resounding 'no'...

I've been paid as a "consultant" (which technically made me a part-time employee, even though I worked 40+ hours per week) and as a full-time employee (which paid with direct deposit - and put me on a W2). Now, I never worked as a stripper or in a strip club, but there are tons of advantages of employee status. First, you'll pay half as much in Medicare/SS taxes (the company is required by federal law to subsidize half). Second, the company must subsidize at least half of your health insurance by federal law (for employees).

I know it sucks to have the government withhold your federal/state income taxes until April 15th, but think of how many people max out their savings and then have to declare bankruptcy because they can't pay their taxes. It's just easier to budget when you know the maximum amount you'll owe for income taxes.

As for having control over money, expenses, and deductions - why wouldn't you as an employee? I can deduct all of my work-related expenses from my taxes, and can usually get my employer to reimburse me for them. Maybe its possible for dancers to get their expenses for dancewear, make-up/cosmetics, etc. covered by the club if they're considered employees. I don't know - I'm not an expert in employment/labor law.

Raider
09-07-2012, 10:00 PM
So....as an employee would you give up the ability to work when you want to and be on a schedule? Also, as an employee would you be expected to perform whatever tasks the management deemed to be appropriate? It seems to me the club would be able to schedule dancers on slow nights...or slow days as they see fit. Also, could they not schedule you two hours past club closing to clean up? Or, you could show up for work and find out that you were on the door for the night or that you were the shot girl.

rickdugan
09-09-2012, 07:43 AM
That was my question - even though there are (former) strippers all over the country suing their clubs for back wages, do strippers actually prefer employee status over IC status? I guess the answer is a resounding 'no'...

IMHO there are an awful lot of reasons why some strippers do not want to be treated as employees.

First, I doubt that many dancers are diligent about reporting a lot of their cash income to the tax authorities and I am sure that some don't report any of it. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that they do not want to be on the radar of tax authorities as employees of strip clubs. In fact, there are some dancers who obtain state benefits for their children, most notably health insurance, the receipt of which could be called into question if it was known that they worked as exotic dancers and likely had unreported cash income.

Second, many dancers do not want there to be any official records of them working as dancers. Treating a dancer as an employee reduces her anonymity by creating a paper trail that ties her to the club.

Third, there are a number of clubs out there that use dancers who are not authorized to work in the U.S. This is an issue that is well understood in the industry, but really isn't discussed much on this board. Heck, in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area, there are some clubs that would almost completely empty out of dancers in short order if you walked in and yelled "the Immigration police are coming!" You can bet that these girls do not want to be treated as employees and they represent a meaningful number of dancers currently working in the industry.

When you add up all of this, IMHO it should come as no surprise that most dancers don't seem to want employee status.

And this doesn't even go into the many reasons why clubs would not want it or the other unintended consequences for the industry if employee status was required for all dancers. You highlighted the Lusty Lady as an example, which already had to close one of its two locations and is about to go out under completely. I'm just not sure how many strip clubs would continue to exist if labor laws, including age discrimination and sexual harassment statutes, had to be enforced by clubs. Also, the ones that could continue would likely be forced to limit their numbers of dancers and/or the number of hours that each dancer could work in order to sidestep costly employee benefits thresholds.

Anyway, just my :twocents:

Flickdreams
09-09-2012, 08:02 AM
^ plus workplace health and safety Rick.

yoda57us
09-09-2012, 06:08 PM
As for having control over money, expenses, and deductions - why wouldn't you as an employee? I can deduct all of my work-related expenses from my taxes, and can usually get my employer to reimburse me for them. Maybe its possible for dancers to get their expenses for dancewear, make-up/cosmetics, etc. covered by the club if they're considered employees. I don't know - I'm not an expert in employment/labor law.

LOL, I hate to be the one to break this to you SCD but I've never met a dancer who filled an accurate tax return. Hell, quite a few don't file one at all! Smart dancers save their receipts, keep track of expenses and take any legitimate deduction that they can but they still don't report all of their income. How do they get away with this? By being independent contractors.

The girls who file lawsuits are going after one last gravy train from a job they most likely aren't even doing anymore. The girls who go to the club every day and work their asses off are trying to maximize their income as best they can for as long as they can have no interest in going on the books. I've yet to meet even a single dancer in my area who is happy about the idea of going on the books.

Kellydancer
09-09-2012, 08:06 PM
I forgot to answer the money one but if I recall (and keep in mind at this point we are talking 15+ years ago)I was paid something like $50 and had to split my table dances (I believe my tips were mine). I ended up at a couple clubs making less than when I paid house fees, DJs, etc. In my later years a couple clubs paid me to come in to dance just on stage (in essence a featured performer)but this was slightly different than what we are talking here.

I generally avoided clubs with strict rules when it came to being IC and by this I mean financially. For instance a couple clubs told dancers when they could work, what shifts, when they could take breaks, etc and this should be illegal. These clubs would then fine girls if they didn't come in the certain days (sometimes they were told when to work)or took breaks other times and other fees. Even so, many clubs I worked required a set amount of shifts and usually I had to work a slow shift to work the busy ones. I was never late or anything like that so that never made a difference.

SCD - NOLA
09-09-2012, 09:28 PM
LOL, I hate to be the one to break this to you SCD but I've never met a dancer who filled an accurate tax return. Hell, quite a few don't file one at all! Smart dancers save their receipts, keep track of expenses and take any legitimate deduction that they can but they stilldon't report all of their income. How do they get away with this? By being independent contractors.

The girls who file lawsuits are going after one last gravy train from a job they most likely aren't even doing anymore. The girls who go to the club every day and work their asses off are trying to maximize their income as best they can for as long as they can have no interest in going on the books. I've yet to meet even a single dancer in my area who is happy about the idea of going on the books.

Hey I'm not doubting you at all; most individuals and businesses under-report their earnings (or mask them with frivolous business expenses). However, technically speaking, the argument for ICs having better control over expenses/money/deductions is really just an argument for being able to evade taxes easier. That's fine, but smart dancers should also realize that the IRS can use your bank deposits, credit card statements, etc. against you in cases of tax fraud and abuse.

I suspected most dancers didn't want to be employees of the clubs - for reasons that you, Rick, and others have mentioned - but I suppose this thread confirms that.

rickdugan
09-10-2012, 03:37 AM
That's fine, but smart dancers should also realize that the IRS can use your bank deposits, credit card statements, etc. against you in cases of tax fraud and abuse.

What makes you think that they don't already realize this?

Fortunately for them, many expenses and necessities can still be paid for with cash. ;)

SCD - NOLA
09-10-2012, 03:59 PM
What makes you think that they don't already realize this?

Fortunately for them, many expenses and necessities can still be paid for with cash. ;)

I'm not saying they don't. I'm sure most do. However, most major expenses are still on record.

If you have a mortgage, the bank/financial institution has record of all of your payments. If you finance a car, the bank has records of that too. Same with auto insurance, health insurance, cable TV & Internet, and anything else that requires personal info or for you to have an account with that company. You can pay your rent with cash, but if you're audited, the IRS will subpoena your landlord and ask for payment records. There's a reason the conviction rate for tax violations is so high. The government puts more emphasis on putting away tax cheats than even murderers and rapists. If a girl is pulling down six figures and only reports $10,000 - she better hope she's never audited (unless she spends like a miser).

yoda57us
09-10-2012, 04:56 PM
I'm not saying they don't. I'm sure most do. However, most major expenses are still on record.

If a girl is pulling down six figures and only reports $10,000 - she better hope she's never audited (unless she spends like a miser).

True, but if she is pulling down six figures and declares 30 or 40 grand the chances are she will never get caught...

MyButter
09-10-2012, 05:49 PM
Personally, as a dancer I liked being a salaried employee much more than being an independent contractor. Getting an actual paystup made life so much easier as I could "prove" income in a way that was easily and universally recognized^^ A drawback would be that the clubs in that area did take 50 percent. Plus an additional 1-200 dollars bimonthly for taxes ( sorry, i never really payed attention to the exact numbers--ill have to dig up some paystubs to double check, but i think it was within that range?)

Flickdreams
09-11-2012, 12:48 AM
NO way! The benefits of being an employee do not outweigh the benefits of being an IC. I don't think many dancers will be prepared to answer this thread to honestly in terms of declared income and actual income.

SCD - NOLA
09-11-2012, 04:07 PM
This just a guess, but I think preferences may depend on how seasonal the industry is in someone's area. Down here, the summertime is absolutely dead. I have a friend who bartends at a local club and one Friday night he and another barback made a total of $70 in tips (and they had to split that). There are clubs on Bourbon that'll have nobody in them for hours at a time. I'm not sure if it's like this everywhere, but summer is generally slow for tourism in New Orleans.

The point is, I can see how having an hourly wage and guaranteed income would be nice during times when you're unsure whether your club will have more than ten customers. Not an hourly wage like waitresses get (~$2.13/hour), but a decent, livable hourly wage. I realize taxes is the hangup here, but sometimes making money and paying taxes beats making no money and paying no taxes.

rickdugan
09-13-2012, 05:03 AM
This just a guess, but I think preferences may depend on how seasonal the industry is in someone's area. Down here, the summertime is absolutely dead. I have a friend who bartends at Visions and one Friday night he and another barback made a total of $70 in tips (and they had to split that). There are clubs on Bourbon that'll have nobody in them for hours at a time. I'm not sure if it's like this everywhere, but summer is generally slow for tourism in New Orleans.

The point is, I can see how having an hourly wage and guaranteed income would be nice during times when you're unsure whether your club will have more than ten customers. Not an hourly wage like waitresses get (~$2.13/hour), but a decent, livable hourly wage. I realize taxes is the hangup here, but sometimes making money and paying taxes beats making no money and paying no taxes.

This is the second time that you've said this, but repetition doesn't make it any more true, just repetitive.

If these girls wanted guaranteed wages, they could work at any number of other jobs. They choose to dance because of the gig's earning potential and scheduling flexibility and almost all of them want IC status for all of the reasons that have been explained to you slowly and repeatedly. Slow periods occur everywhere and are just one of several aspects of the job that must be weathered.

IMHO you need to stop assuming that you have done a better job than dancers of weighing the pros and cons of their own employment decisions. I'm not sure what your horse is in this race, but IMHO preaching to strippers on their own support site about what is best for them is probably a low return activity. They are the ones who live with the consequences of their decisions every day and are best positioned to consider all of the risks and rewards associated with those decisions.

SCD - NOLA
09-13-2012, 05:17 PM
This is the second time that you've said this, but repetition doesn't make it any more true, just repetitive.

If these girls wanted guaranteed wages, they could work at any number of other jobs. They choose to dance because of the gig's earning potential and scheduling flexibility and almost all of them want IC status for all of the reasons that have been explained to you slowly and repeatedly. Slow periods occur everywhere and are just one of several aspects of the job that must be weathered.

IMHO you need to stop assuming that you have done a better job than dancers of weighing the pros and cons of their own employment decisions. I'm not sure what your horse is in this race, but IMHO preaching to strippers on their own support site about what is best for them is probably a low return activity. They are the ones who live with the consequences of their decisions every day and are best positioned to consider all of the risks and rewards associated with those decisions.


How am I assuming anything? I started my last post with "this is just a guess". I'm not assuming knowledge or insight for anything - just here asking questions and trying to get responses from different angles.

I don't think I'm being "preachy" either. Or at least I wasn't trying to be. I think some people undersell the idea of employment status. An employee with a decent base salary and good commission can out-earn any IC. Just sayin'....

rickdugan
09-13-2012, 07:26 PM
You started with this...


How am I assuming anything? I started my last post with "this is just a guess". I'm not assuming knowledge or insight for anything - just here asking questions and trying to get responses from different angles.

I don't think I'm being "preachy" either. Or at least I wasn't trying to be...

And then went right on preaching with this assumption laden comment.


I think some people undersell the idea of employment status. An employee with a decent base salary and good commission can out-earn any IC. Just sayin'....

The problem with this little mini-sermon is that, in the context of a strip club, it is just not true. In most clubs, the girls already keep most of what they make. The only way that paying a decent base wage to all dancers would even be feasible is by taking more money from the stronger earners in order to subsidize the weaker ones. Also, how is a club going to fund wage payments for a roster of girls when it is also suffering during a slow season?

And this doesn't even get into a myriad of unintended consequences involved with treating dancers as statutory employees. Some girls would lose control over their schedules, strong girls would become less incentivized to sell and weaker girls would be harder to get rid of, clubs would need to water down, in some cases dramatically, their offerings in order to ensure that sexual harassment and other employee safety standards were met (thereby further reducing sales), administrative and other employee related costs (payroll taxes, accounting expenses, etc.) would go up for the clubs, which would ultimately have to be recouped from dancer sales, etc.

Sorry, but I don't see how this would work out in favor of many dancers, particularly those who are among the better earners in their respective clubs.

SCD - NOLA
09-13-2012, 08:20 PM
You started with this...



And then went right on preaching with this assumption laden comment.



The problem with this little mini-sermon is that, in the context of a strip club, it is just not true. In most clubs, the girls already keep most of what they make. The only way that paying a decent base wage to all dancers would even be feasible is by taking more money from the stronger earners in order to subsidize the weaker ones. Also, how is a club going to fund wage payments for a roster of girls when it is also suffering during a slow season?

And this doesn't even get into a myriad of unintended consequences involved with treating dancers as statutory employees. Some girls would lose control over their schedules, strong girls would become less incentivized to sell and weaker girls would be harder to get rid of, clubs would need to water down, in some cases dramatically, their offerings in order to ensure that sexual harassment and other employee safety standards were met (thereby further reducing sales), administrative and other employee related costs (payroll taxes, accounting expenses, etc.) would go up for the clubs, which would ultimately have to be recouped from dancer sales, etc.

Sorry, but I don't see how this would work out in favor of many dancers, particularly those who are among the better earners in their respective clubs.

You think that's preaching? Simply stating that the vast majority of high net worth individuals are paid guaranteed salaries is preaching? I disagree.

The problem with most strip clubs is they're over-employed, which is why there's such a disparity between higher and lower earning dancers. The current business model for strip clubs, having the girls pay house and cover fees to work, incentives the club to over-hire. I already mentioned the club owners would oppose making girls employees in my first and second post:



We already know the club owners hate the idea of making the dancers employees. I can understand their perspective. The average cost of health coverage per employee was just under $10,000 in 2011 - imagine the health care costs for clubs with 50-100+ girls. When you factor in wages, payroll taxes, insurance on employees, and other employee benefits (paid vacation, sick days, maternity leave), etc. - most clubs will go out of business immediately.




I would think the clubs (i.e. managers/owners) would hate having the girls as employees. The struggles of the Lusty Lady would suggest that. What if an older dancer, who's clearly past her prime, refuses to quit and the club has to fire her because she's actually driving customers out the door? Is that age discrimination? Can she then sue the club for damages? How would other anti-discrimination laws affect the clubs?



If you get rid of the club's incentive to over-hire, you get rid of most of the lower earning girls that the higher earners would need to subsidize. The current system does not work in favor of the dancers as a whole.

An employee model may not be ideal for the highest earning girl, but is much better for the bottom half, or even bottom three-quarters of girls. I personally believe that a company that has less weak links and a larger group of employees that are motivated to do well because they're succeeding will perform better than a club where the majority of the employees are scraping by and a few live very well. Why do most strip clubs suck? Because the top earning girls spend the entire time in the champagne/VIP rooms, and the only girls left on the main floor are the ones who are struggling, have poor attitudes and are lacking motivation. It's not that the girls are just unmotivated in general (most of the time), it's that the system only enables a few girls to succeed. Ever walk into a place where the overall vibe of the place is just dead and the atmosphere is terrible? I'll bet most of the girls in those clubs won't do well. Couple that with owners that are just plain stupid and don't know how market their product - and you get an industry that's dying. There are too many strip clubs and too many strippers. The industry needs to downsize anyway.

rickdugan
09-13-2012, 09:11 PM
You think that's preaching? Simply stating that the vast majority of high net worth individuals are paid guaranteed salaries is preaching? I disagree.

Last I checked, we were talking about dancers and strip clubs. Did I take a wrong turn and end up in a thread where IC vs. employee status was being considered in relation to employment at Fortune 500 companies? ::)


The problem with most strip clubs is they're over-employed, which is why there's such a disparity between higher and lower earning dancers. The current business model for strip clubs, having the girls pay house and cover fees to work, incentives the club to over-hire. I already mentioned the club owners would oppose making girls employees in my first and second post:

If you get rid of the club's incentive to over-hire, you get rid of most of the lower earning girls that the higher earners would need to subsidize. The current system does not work in favor of the dancers as a whole.

An employee model may not be ideal for the highest earning girl, but is much better for the bottom half, or even bottom three-quarters of girls. I personally believe that a company that has less weak links and a larger group of employees that are motivated to do well because they're succeeding will perform better than a club where the majority of the employees are scraping by and a few live very well. Why do most strip clubs suck? Because the top earning girls spend the entire time in the champagne/VIP rooms, and the only girls left on the main floor are the ones who are struggling, have poor attitudes and are lacking motivation. It's not that the girls are just unmotivated in general (most of the time), it's that the system only enables a few girls to succeed. Ever walk into a place where the overall vibe of the place is just dead and the atmosphere is terrible? I'll bet most of the girls in those clubs won't do well. Couple that with owners that are just plain stupid and don't know how market their product - and you get an industry that's dying. There are too many strip clubs and too many strippers. The industry needs to downsize anyway.

You are all over the place with this and your points are inconsistent. You first claim that clubs should not hire the lower earning girls in the first place, but then you claim that this employee system should be in place to benefit those very same low earning girls and that the system is rigged against them, and then you shift gears yet again to say that there should be less clubs and dancers anyway. So which is it? Should the higher earners be forced to carry the weaker ones or should we shake out the industry? If you are really concerned about the prevalence of weaker dancers in the business, why are you an advocate for a system that would both subsidize them and make it harder for clubs to get rid of them? :O

The current system is already ideally suited to reward good dancers and to clear out the weak ones. Stronger dancers make a living in this business and the weaker dancers tend to bust out quickly and move on to other things. Also, clubs exist because there is demand for them and the ones that are not profitable go out of business. A switch to a statutory employee model would just fuck this system up and hurt most everyone involved, except perhaps some of the weaker and older dancers, for all of the reasons already discussed.

SCD - NOLA
09-13-2012, 09:30 PM
Last I checked, we were talking about dancers and strip clubs. Did I take a wrong turn and end up in a thread where IC vs. employee status was being considered in relation to employment at Fortune 500 companies? ::)

You are all over the place with this and your points are inconsistent. You first claim that clubs should not hire the lower earning girls in the first place, but then you claim that this employee system should be in place to benefit those very same low earning girls and that the system is rigged against them, and then you shift gears yet again to say that there should be less clubs and dancers anyway. So which is it? Should the higher earners be forced to carry the weaker ones or should we shake out the industry? If you are really concerned about the prevalence of weaker dancers in the business, why are you an advocate for a system that would both subsidize them and make it harder for clubs to get rid of them? :O

The current system is already ideally suited to reward good dancers and to clear out the weak ones. Stronger dancers make a living in this business and the weaker dancers tend to bust out quickly and move on to other things. Also, clubs exist because there is demand for them and the ones that are not profitable go out of business. A switch to a statutory employee model would just fuck this system up and hurt most everyone involved, except perhaps some of the weaker and older dancers, for all of the reasons already discussed.

The industry needs to be shook out. A switch to an employee system would result in about 30-40% of strippers being cut immediately, because many clubs would go under. That's no biggie because they're not earning much anyway. Say this hurts the top 5-10% earning strippers, that still means at least 50% of dancers are better off.

From the perspective of the customer, have less clubs would be a good thing. Having too many clubs just "dilutes the talent" (for lack of a better expression).

The current system is ideally suited for the clubs, not really dancers or customers. Having a handful of great dancers and a barrel of mediocre or worse dancers doesn't really benefit anyone. If the current system is so great, why are clubs losing top girls to escort agencies, camming, or whatever else? It's actually at the point where it's starting to bite the club owners, too. The better the dancers do (collectively), the better it will be for customers. Your enjoyment is tied to the welfare of the dancers. That's why I'm for it - I'm in it for me.

Listen, I'm not trying to bill myself as some all-knowing speaker for strip club customers, but most people I've talked to think strip clubs have gotten worse over the past 5-10 years. Much worse. The clubs are dead, the dancers aren't earning as much, and customers are going elsewhere. The current system sucks.

rickdugan
09-14-2012, 05:57 AM
The industry needs to be shook out. A switch to an employee system would result in about 30-40% of strippers being cut immediately, because many clubs would go under. That's no biggie because they're not earning much anyway. Say this hurts the top 5-10% earning strippers, that still means at least 50% of dancers are better off.

From the perspective of the customer, have less clubs would be a good thing. Having too many clubs just "dilutes the talent" (for lack of a better expression).

The current system is ideally suited for the clubs, not really dancers or customers. Having a handful of great dancers and a barrel of mediocre or worse dancers doesn't really benefit anyone. If the current system is so great, why are clubs losing top girls to escort agencies, camming, or whatever else? It's actually at the point where it's starting to bite the club owners, too. The better the dancers do (collectively), the better it will be for customers. Your enjoyment is tied to the welfare of the dancers. That's why I'm for it - I'm in it for me.

I agree that applying a statutory employee model nationwide, including living wage requirements, would shake clubs up and would result in many clubs closing. But I also believe that you are underestimating its impact upon the clubs that would stay open.

The last time that this model was common in clubs was during the pre-lapdance era. In today's environment, there is no way that many clubs could continue to allow the same levels of contact, if any at all, if sexual harassment and worker safety laws had to be enforced. And with the watering down of club services, sales revenues would inevitably fall, thereby resulting in even fewer dancers employed and lower wages for those dancers.

To use your original example, let's look at how this has worked out for the Lusty Lady. The dancers are protected by glass between themselves and their customers, so there is no contact and little interaction. Today, it is paying its dancers small potatoes and is one step away from going under. Also important to note is that, from all reports, there is a lot of mediocre talent working there which cannot be easily removed since, of course, these dancers are afforded age discrimination and other labor law protections.

Sorry, but I just cannot see this ultimately benefiting almost anyone.


Listen, I'm not trying to bill myself as some all-knowing speaker for strip club customers, but most people I've talked to think strip clubs have gotten worse over the past 5-10 years. Much worse. The clubs are dead, the dancers aren't earning as much, and customers are going elsewhere. The current system sucks.

I agree with some of this, though IMHO the independent contractor model isn't the cause of this and a statutory employee model most certainly isn't the answer. Club profits rise and fall with the economy, which, as we all know, has been horrible for over 4 years now. However, even in this environment, there are plenty of dancers who are earning more dancing than they would elsewhere. If this was not the case, then they wouldn't be dancing.

Also, with respect to your view that there should be less clubs and dancers, the reality is that particular clubs and dancers only continue to operate because enough customers find value in what they do. If customers did not pay them, they would not be in business. Just because you don't enjoy what some clubs/ladies have to offer does not mean that your worldview is shared by, or should be imposed upon, everyone else.

There are still plenty of clubs out there that still focus on quality control, so if you don't like what you see in one club then you can go to a club that hires higher-end talent. Simple.

Melonie
09-14-2012, 02:42 PM
I agree that applying a statutory employee model nationwide, including living wage requirements, would shake clubs up and would result in many clubs closing. But I also believe that you are underestimating its impact upon the clubs that would stay open.

The last time that this model was common in clubs was during the pre-lapdance era. In today's environment, there is no way that many clubs could continue to allow the same levels of contact, if any at all, if sexual harassment and worker safety laws had to be enforced. And with the watering down of club services, sales revenues would inevitably fall, thereby resulting in even fewer dancers employed and lower wages for those dancers.


Consider this super basic example. Right now club customers spend some number of total dollars in the club ... 80% of which goes to the club's independent contractor dancers ( via stage tips / private dances / VIP ), and 20% of which goes to the clubowner ( via cover charge, drink sales, house fees etc. ). If the dancers become statutory employees, all of a sudden the clubowner becomes responsible for paying out $3 an hour ( or whatever ) tipped minimum wage, plus X dollars in unemployment insurance premium, plus Y dollars in workers' comp insurance premium, plus 6% of $8 an hour ( or whatever ) employer contribution to SSI and medicare, plus beginning in a year $2000 in tax penalty for failure to provide employee health insurance. The clubowner also loses the ability to charge a house fee. Obviously the clubowner is not going to pay out all of these additional expenses from his current 20% share of customer spending. To come up with the money to afford to pay out the $3 an hour tipped minimum wage, plus unemployment and workers' comp insurance premiums, plus employer SSI and medicare taxes, plus the ObamaCare tax penalty, the clubowner is going to have to increase his 'take' from the remaining 80% of customer spending ... significantly !!!

Ultimately, if the same number of customer dollars continue to be spent in the future, but a new third party i.e. the government now must be paid a share of that customer money in the form of new taxes and insurance premiums, this leaves LESS money to be shared by the clubowner and dancers. And with the clubowner in 'control', odds are that ALL of these new expenses will be taken out of the employee dancers' end. Thus there is absolutely NO QUESTION that converting to statutory employee status will reduce dancer income levels even if they are able to sell the exact same number of private dances and VIP's.

With the $2000 ObamaCare tax penalty on the horizon, and with unemployment and workers' comp insurance premiums rising rapidly in the current environment of high unemployment and increasing signups for disability benefits, the issue of 'full time' versus 'part time' employment suddenly looms large. Thus it is extremely likely that clubowners will start enforcing a 24-30 hour ( or whatever ) per week maximum working hours ceiling for dancers, so that they are legally considered to be 'part time' employees thus exempting the clubowner from the ObamaCare tax, from unemployment and workers' comp insurance premiums etc. As a legal employer, the clubowner will then have full 'control' over dancer schedules, and will probably require that girls wanting to work a friday night must also work a monday night, that girls wanting to work a saturday night must also work a tuesday night etc., with 'show up and leave whenever you want' becoming ancient history. And this of course STILL leaves the part time statutory employee dancers without health care benefits, without unemployment benefits, and without workers' comp benefits.

Also, in a statutory employee based club work environment, where perhaps 50% of all customer private dance / VIP dollars must now be shared with the clubowner, where 100% of stage tip money may need to be pooled and shared with other dancers, and where every transaction is documented, reported, and taxed, there is really only ONE remaining option for dancers who need to earn serious money. That option of course is to offer 'extras' on a ( non-reported, non-shared, non-taxed ) cash basis to customers.

yoda57us
09-16-2012, 02:00 PM
Listen, I'm not trying to bill myself as some all-knowing speaker for strip club customers, but most people I've talked to think strip clubs have gotten worse over the past 5-10 years. Much worse. The clubs are dead, the dancers aren't earning as much, and customers are going elsewhere. The current system sucks.

When you say that customers are going elsewhere where exactly are they going?

The current system sucks? What makes your system better? Sorry but so far the only actual real-world examples I've seen of clubs turning dancers into employees have all failed miserably. Dancer quality does not go up. The really good dancers actually leave and go to another club. What actually ends up happening is that the less desirable girls stay and the club raises cover, drink and dance prices to make up for the lost revenue from all of the pretty girls leaving and the loss of house fees and VIP room revenue since no one buys VIP from a thin schedule of ugly girls.

There is no need to speculate about what may happen under your business model. We already know.

SCD - NOLA
09-16-2012, 11:42 PM
I agree that applying a statutory employee model nationwide, including living wage requirements, would shake clubs up and would result in many clubs closing. But I also believe that you are underestimating its impact upon the clubs that would stay open.

The last time that this model was common in clubs was during the pre-lapdance era. In today's environment, there is no way that many clubs could continue to allow the same levels of contact, if any at all, if sexual harassment and worker safety laws had to be enforced. And with the watering down of club services, sales revenues would inevitably fall, thereby resulting in even fewer dancers employed and lower wages for those dancers.

To use your original example, let's look at how this has worked out for the Lusty Lady. The dancers are protected by glass between themselves and their customers, so there is no contact and little interaction. Today, it is paying its dancers small potatoes and is one step away from going under. Also important to note is that, from all reports, there is a lot of mediocre talent working there which cannot be easily removed since, of course, these dancers are afforded age discrimination and other labor law protections.

Sorry, but I just cannot see this ultimately benefiting almost anyone.

I agree with some of this, though IMHO the independent contractor model isn't the cause of this and a statutory employee model most certainly isn't the answer. Club profits rise and fall with the economy, which, as we all know, has been horrible for over 4 years now. However, even in this environment, there are plenty of dancers who are earning more dancing than they would elsewhere. If this was not the case, then they wouldn't be dancing.

Also, with respect to your view that there should be less clubs and dancers, the reality is that particular clubs and dancers only continue to operate because enough customers find value in what they do. If customers did not pay them, they would not be in business. Just because you don't enjoy what some clubs/ladies have to offer does not mean that your worldview is shared by, or should be imposed upon, everyone else.

There are still plenty of clubs out there that still focus on quality control, so if you don't like what you see in one club then you can go to a club that hires higher-end talent. Simple.

Ex-employees have to prove that fulfilling the requirements of the job has nothing to do with age. From what I've read, age discrimination suits are hard to prove (although I'm not a labor/employment attorney, so I don't know much). Modeling/talent agencies and professional sports teams are able to drop aging employees without much hassle since older people aren't able to fulfill the job requirements. Construction companies avoid gender discrimination lawsuits by having strict requirements for strength. Companies like Hooters would get sued everyday if age discrimination suits were that easy.

Also, only people 40 and over can claim age discrimination. I'd guess most strippers either quit or get replaced before reaching 40 even without the discrimination laws.

Dancers can still claim sexual harassment even though they're ICs. If a manager tries to pressure a dancer to suck him off under his desk (and threatens termination if she doesn't comply), she can sue the club if she's able to prove that. The challenge is proving it, particularly for more petty things like cat calling and innuendos.

The same goes for workplace safety laws. Building still have to meet code. Strip clubs still have to carry general liability insurance. If a stripper is injured because the stage falls apart, she can sue for damages.

With respect to the economy, it's not as bad as 2008/2009. It's improved marginally every year. In fact, higher income individuals have seen the greatest percent increase in salary since the recession officially ended, particularly those with more of their money in market securities. Strip clubs, particularly the higher-end joints, should see more business than they are now.

Yes, the "dive" clubs would do horribly under an employee model. A lot of the customers and employees of the lower-end clubs would probably get pushed underground, which is usually bad. I'm not saying it's perfect, and I'm not throwing my full support behind it, but the current system - I still contend - is trash. In order earn reasonably, strippers need to sell VIP/champagne rooms, and to do that, there's increased pressure to offer extras. In a lot of clubs, it's expected. Just a disclaimer, I'm not opposed to extras in the VIP, but I realize that this is likely driving a lot of very attractive girls away from the industry, which is ultimately bad for customers. You want hotter strippers? Well, they aren't coming if the only way to bank is to deepthroat old fat guys.

SCD - NOLA
09-17-2012, 12:10 AM
When you say that customers are going elsewhere where exactly are they going?

Escort agencies, cam sites, Backpage/Craigslist/wherever, mobile stripping services, etc. Maybe they stop going as frequently or spend less when they do go.

Would you say strip clubs are more or less crowded than 5 years ago? 10? Is it equally crowded? I can't say for certain (haven't been clubbing that long), but everything I've heard says business has dropped in recent years, and even before the economic meltdown in 2008. There are threads on this forum about this topic (one recently, I think). Members on TUSCL (which I know the members here hate that site) regularly bitch about the girls being more attractive years ago.

I don't know what the reasons are, but the consensus is that strip clubs are in need of quality girls and customers.



The current system sucks? What makes your system better? Sorry but so far the only actual real-world examples I've seen of clubs turning dancers into employees have all failed miserably. Dancer quality does not go up. The really good dancers actually leave and go to another club. What actually ends up happening is that the less desirable girls stay and the club raises cover, drink and dance prices to make up for the lost revenue from all of the pretty girls leaving and the loss of house fees and VIP room revenue since no one buys VIP from a thin schedule of ugly girls.

There is no need to speculate about what may happen under your business model. We already know.

My system? I didn't invent the employer-employee model, nor its laws and regulations. And I've never backed this model either.

A club that uses the employee model cannot exist with clubs that use the IC model. That's why, in order to work, it would have to be enforced industry-wide. That would equalize everything. The Lusty Lady fails because it's trying to compete in a market where it's competitors have a distinct advantage over it. I'm guessing the other examples had the same issue. If you take that advantage away, they're competitive, because all clubs are the same. There is no "pick up and leave".

I know I already said this, but the current system incentivizes the clubs to hire anyone that walks through the door (and can pay tip out). That's why so many clubs are chock full of mediocre talent. And that's why, I think, customers are fleeing the clubs. They walk in, see a room full of average janes (or dogs) and a couple of hotties, and say fuck this. That's terrible for the industry, because that's the impression they'll associate with all clubs.


@Melonie: I will reply to your post tomorrow.

rickdugan
09-17-2012, 06:58 PM
Ex-employees have to prove that fulfilling the requirements of the job has nothing to do with age. From what I've read, age discrimination suits are hard to prove (although I'm not a labor/employment attorney, so I don't know much). Modeling/talent agencies and professional sports teams are able to drop aging employees without much hassle since older people aren't able to fulfill the job requirements. Construction companies avoid gender discrimination lawsuits by having strict requirements for strength. Companies like Hooters would get sued everyday if age discrimination suits were that easy.

Also, only people 40 and over can claim age discrimination. I'd guess most strippers either quit or get replaced before reaching 40 even without the discrimination laws.

The 40 year old threshold is a federal minimum. Many states have more restrictive laws. And it doesn't even matter whether a club owner would ultimately win - the threat of costly litigation, in and of itself, will be enough to make club owners cautious about casually firing aging employees. After all, they can still dance and take their clothes off, right? And just imagine if they started trying to unionize - LOL.

And this doesn't even go into the various costs associated with high turnover, including increasing unemployment premiums.


Dancers can still claim sexual harassment even though they're ICs. If a manager tries to pressure a dancer to suck him off under his desk (and threatens termination if she doesn't comply), she can sue the club if she's able to prove that. The challenge is proving it, particularly for more petty things like cat calling and innuendos.

The same goes for workplace safety laws. Building still have to meet code. Strip clubs still have to carry general liability insurance. If a stripper is injured because the stage falls apart, she can sue for damages.

First off, federal and most state sexual harassment laws do NOT cover independent contractors. They are specifically designed to protect employees from coercion by their employers.

As for the rest of that, Idk dude, but I'm sensing that you're a little out of touch with the SC dynamic. Cat calling and innuendos? Try guys grabbing girls asses and trying to fondle them, or trying to stick their fingers in thongs during lapdances, or kissing and/or licking them, or the myriad of other ridiculous shit that some guys try to do. Even if dancers and bouncers are diligent, sometimes a guy has already perpetrated the act before anyone can stop him. How in the world can you protect employees dancers from sexual harassment, nevermind a hostile work environment, in a strip club? The only answer is to completely prohibit contact. Heck, in states with more stringent worker protection laws, the clubs might even have to put glass between the dancers and customers.


With respect to the economy, it's not as bad as 2008/2009. It's improved marginally every year. In fact, higher income individuals have seen the greatest percent increase in salary since the recession officially ended, particularly those with more of their money in market securities. Strip clubs, particularly the higher-end joints, should see more business than they are now.

Dude, marginal economic activity does not necessarily translate into personal discretionary income. The unemployment rate is still over 8%, credit has dried up and, the last time I drove by a gas station, gasoline was over $4 per gallon.


Yes, the "dive" clubs would do horribly under an employee model. A lot of the customers and employees of the lower-end clubs would probably get pushed underground, which is usually bad. I'm not saying it's perfect, and I'm not throwing my full support behind it, but the current system - I still contend - is trash. In order earn reasonably, strippers need to sell VIP/champagne rooms, and to do that, there's increased pressure to offer extras. In a lot of clubs, it's expected. Just a disclaimer, I'm not opposed to extras in the VIP, but I realize that this is likely driving a lot of very attractive girls away from the industry, which is ultimately bad for customers. You want hotter strippers? Well, they aren't coming if the only way to bank is to deepthroat old fat guys.

EVERYONE would do horrible under this model, for all of the reasons explained to you ad nauseum. Many clubs would close and the ones that didn't would experience a combination of substantially higher costs (as well laid out by Melonie) while at the same time offering a vastly watered down product (due to the previously outlined harassment and safety concerns). And, as Melonie laid out in superlative fashion, do not believe for one moment that club owners are going to eat the economic losses by themselves.

And what in the world makes you believe that hot strippers need to deepthroat old fat guys in order to bank? Here's a newsflash SCD: there are plenty of hot strippers in clubs all over the country that bank without doing anything of the kind. Here's another heads-up for you: most of these hot strippers don't want anything to with what you are proposing either, for many of the reasons already laid out for you.

Now there is one thing that I will agree with, which is that the average "quality" of club stripper, as judged purely by physical appearance, would go up if you killed off a majority of clubs out there. But why is that necessarily a good thing? There are already plenty of hot strippers out there for those who want them and plenty of high-end clubs that make a point of hiring them. If you are having trouble finding these places, let me know and I will point them out to you. So why are these clubs the only ones that you believe should continue to exist? Why shouldn't patrons be free to seek out the types of club experiences that most suit their interests?

For a guy who uses the moniker "StripClubDefender", you have a very myopic view of what is good for strip clubs and their patrons. Club customers already vote with their feet and wallets. You might have certain preferences relating to clubs and customers, but clearly not everyone shares your views. I think that there is enough room for everyone to enjoy what they wish without industry engineering through regulatory dictates.

Kellydancer
09-17-2012, 09:29 PM
You started with this...



And then went right on preaching with this assumption laden comment.



The problem with this little mini-sermon is that, in the context of a strip club, it is just not true. In most clubs, the girls already keep most of what they make. The only way that paying a decent base wage to all dancers would even be feasible is by taking more money from the stronger earners in order to subsidize the weaker ones. Also, how is a club going to fund wage payments for a roster of girls when it is also suffering during a slow season?

And this doesn't even get into a myriad of unintended consequences involved with treating dancers as statutory employees. Some girls would lose control over their schedules, strong girls would become less incentivized to sell and weaker girls would be harder to get rid of, clubs would need to water down, in some cases dramatically, their offerings in order to ensure that sexual harassment and other employee safety standards were met (thereby further reducing sales), administrative and other employee related costs (payroll taxes, accounting expenses, etc.) would go up for the clubs, which would ultimately have to be recouped from dancer sales, etc.

Sorry, but I don't see how this would work out in favor of many dancers, particularly those who are among the better earners in their respective clubs.

All of your posts in this thread I completely agree with but the bold part reminds me of this actually happening. At one club I worked the girls complained about the system so they decided to have it where all the dancers split dances and even tips. As it turns out at this club we were all paid but once they decided to do the sharing things changed and my money went down. I would try to hide most of my tip money but the dances were paid to the club when we did them. I resented making the same as someone who sat on her butt all day so I stopped working hard. I then went to a better club and this club closed.

The fact of the matter is stripping is NOT an equal industry and the idea that all dancers should be paid the same is bizarre. Need I mention that every club I danced at that paid the dancers were all low class dives? That I made the most in nice clubs where I paid to work there?

MyButter
09-18-2012, 06:03 AM
^ I also agree with the statement that is in bold. There were so many times that the high earners were essentially paying the rest of us (and themselves), while girls that made next to nothing basically got a feee ride. I.e. this club took half, so if high earner made 2,000 the 1,000 taken by the club could be used to cover the base pay for two girls for the week. Whereas girls that just showed up to work and made nothing didn't contribute to this system but still reaped the benefits.

So it is a great system for weaker earners, like myself--but it is a total ripoff for high earners.

rickdugan
09-18-2012, 07:15 AM
MyButter, thanks for sharing that. I am not mistaken, you were working in Guam when you were receiving wages, which is formally a U.S. territory but I am pretty sure has its own set of labor laws. Please let me know if I am mistaken with any of that.

Also, I wonder how much more money could have been earned collectively if the girls got to keep more of what they made? Nothing motivates quite like direct transfers of cash. ;) In another thread, you mentioned that since they were receiving paychecks, a lot of girls treated the club more like a social spot than a work site, which really doesn't surprise me much.

MyButter
09-18-2012, 11:24 AM
^Actually I am not totally positive. I'm sorry I'm of no help with that =( I would think it is safe to assume that they have their own labor laws (there) though, as the CNMI does. However, in 2010 there was a huge shift where there was (my interpretation) an attempt to Americanize businesses in anticipation of more military buildup. So the current labor laws might actually comply with those in the mainland.

Lol, yeah, ime within the strip club scenario the salaried employee system totally promotes laziness. I mean, we always had a few self-motivated oddballs or girls from different countries who had amazing work ethics that were thrown into the mix, but for the most part---just hopelessly lazy(I'm pretty sure I was probably the laziest one there, lmao);p

It's really flawed. Even the club, for example, doesn't profit as much as one would expect that it does, since a majority of the money that is generated via taking half is going back into paychecks. All in all, you can't really beat the stability though^^

Djoser
09-18-2012, 11:56 AM
Lol, yeah, ime within the strip club scenario the salaried employee system totally promotes laziness. I mean, we always had a few self-motivated oddballs or girls from different countries who had amazing work ethics that were thrown into the mix, but for the most part---just hopelessly lazy(I'm pretty sure I was probably the laziest one there, lmao);p



Jesus H Christ that would be the last thing I needed. It's already hard enough getting them to stage as it is...

:rotfl:

Djoser
09-18-2012, 11:56 AM
Lol, yeah, ime within the strip club scenario the salaried employee system totally promotes laziness. I mean, we always had a few self-motivated oddballs or girls from different countries who had amazing work ethics that were thrown into the mix, but for the most part---just hopelessly lazy(I'm pretty sure I was probably the laziest one there, lmao);p



Jesus H Christ that would be the last thing I needed. It's already hard enough getting them to stage as it is...

:rotfl:

Kellydancer
09-18-2012, 05:03 PM
MyButter thanks for sharing. I think it is important to mention all aspects and how it does affect all dancers. I remember at some clubs I would be the only one making money or making the most and it was because I am an amazing hustler. At one club one of the dancers would complain about not making money but she was in the dressing room all night so hard to make money there. The idea that under this system I would have to share with her would horrify me.

SCD - NOLA
09-18-2012, 07:24 PM
Consider this super basic example. Right now club customers spend some number of total dollars in the club ... 80% of which goes to the club's independent contractor dancers ( via stage tips / private dances / VIP ), and 20% of which goes to the clubowner ( via cover charge, drink sales, house fees etc. ). If the dancers become statutory employees, all of a sudden the clubowner becomes responsible for paying out $3 an hour ( or whatever ) tipped minimum wage, plus X dollars in unemployment insurance premium, plus Y dollars in workers' comp insurance premium, plus 6% of $8 an hour ( or whatever ) employer contribution to SSI and medicare, plus beginning in a year $2000 in tax penalty for failure to provide employee health insurance. The clubowner also loses the ability to charge a house fee. Obviously the clubowner is not going to pay out all of these additional expenses from his current 20% share of customer spending. To come up with the money to afford to pay out the $3 an hour tipped minimum wage, plus unemployment and workers' comp insurance premiums, plus employer SSI and medicare taxes, plus the ObamaCare tax penalty, the clubowner is going to have to increase his 'take' from the remaining 80% of customer spending ... significantly !!!

Ultimately, if the same number of customer dollars continue to be spent in the future, but a new third party i.e. the government now must be paid a share of that customer money in the form of new taxes and insurance premiums, this leaves LESS money to be shared by the clubowner and dancers. And with the clubowner in 'control', odds are that ALL of these new expenses will be taken out of the employee dancers' end. Thus there is absolutely NO QUESTION that converting to statutory employee status will reduce dancer income levels even if they are able to sell the exact same number of private dances and VIP's.


I'll stick with the pie example (pie = total revenue of club). Under the employment model, each dancer will get a thinner slice of the pie (as you said); however, since many of the current strip clubs will go out of business, the customers from those clubs will be directed to the clubs still in operation, so the pie will expand, which may or may not offset the losses. Also, if the industry grows as a result of the employee model (I'll explain this in another post), the pie expands even more.

I'm pretty sure the penalty for businesses for failure to provide health coverage only applies to larger companies (I think over 50 employees). So, the days of clubs with hundreds of girls on schedule would likely be gone (except for clubs in very large markets, maybe). Unemployment insurance for employees that make near minimum (standard) wage can't be much. Workers' comp could give them trouble, since the risk that dancers would start claiming (fake) injuries to get paid while not working is possible.

The hang-up here seems to be the issue of taxation. Club owners and dancers don't like to pay them, and often don't. There's no defense I can provide against that; it's a unique "benefit" of the current system. I will say that I pay taxes, and so do most businesses, but I'm unsure why strip clubs feel they shouldn't have to...



With the $2000 ObamaCare tax penalty on the horizon, and with unemployment and workers' comp insurance premiums rising rapidly in the current environment of high unemployment and increasing signups for disability benefits, the issue of 'full time' versus 'part time' employment suddenly looms large. Thus it is extremely likely that clubowners will start enforcing a 24-30 hour ( or whatever ) per week maximum working hours ceiling for dancers, so that they are legally considered to be 'part time' employees thus exempting the clubowner from the ObamaCare tax, from unemployment and workers' comp insurance premiums etc. As a legal employer, the clubowner will then have full 'control' over dancer schedules, and will probably require that girls wanting to work a friday night must also work a monday night, that girls wanting to work a saturday night must also work a tuesday night etc., with 'show up and leave whenever you want' becoming ancient history. And this of course STILL leaves the part time statutory employee dancers without health care benefits, without unemployment benefits, and without workers' comp benefits.


If a girl is selling enough VIP/champagne rooms, drinks, and drawing customers in the door (and keeping them inside) - then it's worth it to have the girl on rotation as much as possible. Even if that means making her full-time, because the costs are more than covered. As for scheduling, aren't there already scheduling requirements for most clubs? I had thought most clubs already tell the dancers when (and how long) to show up to a large degree. Otherwise, yeah. There's a possibility that the clubs will cap the girls weekly hours to avoid employee benefits. Lots of businesses do this. Clubs already cap the dancers' scheduled days, though.



Also, in a statutory employee based club work environment, where perhaps 50% of all customer private dance / VIP dollars must now be shared with the clubowner, where 100% of stage tip money may need to be pooled and shared with other dancers, and where every transaction is documented, reported, and taxed, there is really only ONE remaining option for dancers who need to earn serious money. That option of course is to offer 'extras' on a ( non-reported, non-shared, non-taxed ) cash basis to customers.

Don't most dancers already turn tricks under the current system? I know a helluva lot do down here. The "extras" clubs now outnumber the clean ones - and there are a lot of girls in the supposed clean clubs that will offer OTC in your hotel room. I've seen dancers leave with customers at Penthouse, Rick's, Hustler...all of them. And if you believe what's said on the Internet, this is happening nationally. Supposedly, customers all over the place are demanding more 'service' from strippers. I'm sure there are threads about this on SW. I could be wrong, of course, but that's what I've heard.

The employee model definitely isn't perfect, and I'm not sure what's the best solution. I'll ask this: do you think strip clubs 20 years from now will do better than they are now (ignore any economic hypotheticals), or are people starting to feign interest in strip clubs?

SCD - NOLA
09-18-2012, 08:59 PM
First off, federal and most state sexual harassment laws do NOT cover independent contractors. They are specifically designed to protect employees from coercion by their employers.

As for the rest of that, Idk dude, but I'm sensing that you're a little out of touch with the SC dynamic. Cat calling and innuendos? Try guys grabbing girls asses and trying to fondle them, or trying to stick their fingers in thongs during lapdances, or kissing and/or licking them, or the myriad of other ridiculous shit that some guys try to do. Even if dancers and bouncers are diligent, sometimes a guy has already perpetrated the act before anyone can stop him. How in the world can you protect employees dancers from sexual harassment, nevermind a hostile work environment, in a strip club? The only answer is to completely prohibit contact. Heck, in states with more stringent worker protection laws, the clubs might even have to put glass between the dancers and customers.


The scenarios you described (fingering, etc.) is considered sexual assault - which is a felony regardless of employment status. Clubs/dancers often don't contact authorities because they're also partaking in illicit activities and don't want to draw the attention of the cops. The girl can press charges against the perpetrator. The girl probably couldn't press charges against the club if the club proved it took reasonable precaution to prevent the crime (bouncers, cameras, etc.). There is a reasonable expectation of contact at strip clubs.

There are instances of ICs suing their employers under anti-discrimination laws and winning. Or the girls could sue the clubs and challenge their employment status (and likely win).



Dude, marginal economic activity does not necessarily translate into personal discretionary income. The unemployment rate is still over 8%, credit has dried up and, the last time I drove by a gas station, gasoline was over $4 per gallon.


Not to turn this into a political/economic, but I'd hardly say we've seen marginal economic activity over the past 3-4 years. The DJIA has more than doubled, we've seen 12 consecutive quarters of growth in GDP, unemployment has dropped from over 10% to around 8%, the housing market is coming back (prices have stabilized and foreclosures are down), and everything suggests banks are lending more than they were in 2009. Credit restrictions have loosened, interest rates have gone down, and companies are reporting higher profits. Gas prices are high...like they were pre-recession. But gas prices do rise and fall in accordance with economic activity, so the fact that they've gone up so much actually works against you. Consumer spending is up. That's inarguable.



EVERYONE would do horrible under this model, for all of the reasons explained to you ad nauseum. Many clubs would close and the ones that didn't would experience a combination of substantially higher costs (as well laid out by Melonie) while at the same time offering a vastly watered down product (due to the previously outlined harassment and safety concerns). And, as Melonie laid out in superlative fashion, do not believe for one moment that club owners are going to eat the economic losses by themselves.

And what in the world makes you believe that hot strippers need to deepthroat old fat guys in order to bank? Here's a newsflash SCD: there are plenty of hot strippers in clubs all over the country that bank without doing anything of the kind. Here's another heads-up for you: most of these hot strippers don't want anything to with what you are proposing either, for many of the reasons already laid out for you.

Now there is one thing that I will agree with, which is that the average "quality" of club stripper, as judged purely by physical appearance, would go up if you killed off a majority of clubs out there. But why is that necessarily a good thing? There are already plenty of hot strippers out there for those who want them and plenty of high-end clubs that make a point of hiring them. If you are having trouble finding these places, let me know and I will point them out to you. So why are these clubs the only ones that you believe should continue to exist? Why shouldn't patrons be free to seek out the types of club experiences that most suit their interests?

For a guy who uses the moniker "StripClubDefender", you have a very myopic view of what is good for strip clubs and their patrons. Club customers already vote with their feet and wallets. You might have certain preferences relating to clubs and customers, but clearly not everyone shares your views. I think that there is enough room for everyone to enjoy what they wish without industry engineering through regulatory dictates.

Everyone? How on Earth can you make that all-knowing claim? The majority of pro-IC arguments made in this thread depend on strip club operating illegally. Not paying taxes is a great benefit. So is hiring unauthorized and/or trafficked girls to work in your club. I'm not sure why people would fight to keep that going.

Clubs could avoid paying employee benefits by capping hours, like they do now. That would cut a lot of the costs while still offering a base salary for workers (plus a percentage of tips and dances/private rooms sold). That would work better for more than nobody.

And how can you say "vastly watered down product" and then say "Now there is one thing that I will agree with, which is that the average "quality" of club stripper, as judged purely by physical appearance, would go up if you killed off a majority of clubs out there"? 'Watered down' never results in increased quality.



So why are these clubs the only ones that you believe should continue to exist? Why shouldn't patrons be free to seek out the types of club experiences that most suit their interests?


Those dive clubs paint a very poor picture for the industry; they hurt it more than help. Think of all of the times anti-strip club feminists, politicians, or anyone from the general public rails against strip clubs. They'll say everything from dancers being pressured (by management) to offer sexual favors, to exploitative managers, to a general lack of concern for dancer safety, to...you name it. Almost all of the complaints about strip clubs are characteristic of dive clubs. They're easy targets, and they're hurting the overall industry because people are associating those problems as being characteristic of all clubs - even the good ones that run a clean operation. You cut the dive clubs, and many of those arguments can't hold water.

As for being a "Defender" - I'll defend customers, employees, and clubs when people make bogus claims about strip clubs (correlation between strip clubs and rape, degradation of women, etc.), but that doesn't preclude me from saying that many clubs are poorly run (or run dirty). Most of my posts are actually pretty critical of strip clubs and their owners.

SCD - NOLA
09-18-2012, 09:11 PM
All of your posts in this thread I completely agree with but the bold part reminds me of this actually happening. At one club I worked the girls complained about the system so they decided to have it where all the dancers split dances and even tips. As it turns out at this club we were all paid but once they decided to do the sharing things changed and my money went down. I would try to hide most of my tip money but the dances were paid to the club when we did them. I resented making the same as someone who sat on her butt all day so I stopped working hard. I then went to a better club and this club closed.

The fact of the matter is stripping is NOT an equal industry and the idea that all dancers should be paid the same is bizarre. Need I mention that every club I danced at that paid the dancers were all low class dives? That I made the most in nice clubs where I paid to work there?


MyButter thanks for sharing. I think it is important to mention all aspects and how it does affect all dancers. I remember at some clubs I would be the only one making money or making the most and it was because I am an amazing hustler. At one club one of the dancers would complain about not making money but she was in the dressing room all night so hard to make money there. The idea that under this system I would have to share with her would horrify me.

@KellyDancer, MyButter - there's a reason the employment model would have to be enforced industry-wide. If all clubs operate under the employment model, then all girls (even the really motivated) would work in these clubs. If all clubs adopt the employee system, then the top clubs would still draw the top talent, and you wouldn't have to worry about sharing money with dancers who sat in the DR all day. There would be fewer clubs vying for the top girls, so the "talent" level would be deeper. The top clubs now still hire burnouts, hangers-on, and unmotivated dancers - because if they can pay tipout, what does the club care? More money for them. But those girls drag y'all down. The employee model removes the incentive for the clubs to do that because they (the club) would be the ones paying these girls to sit in the DR. Imagine if the club you were at had nothing but attractive, motivated dancers who hustled. The club would have better atmosphere, a better vibe, and would draw more customers - making more money for everyone involved. Atmosphere is everything, and a few negative girls kill the atmosphere and send customers heading for the door. And ultimately, that hurts you (the dancers) more than the owners - because the club gets paid regardless.

@MyButter - thanks for your input. I appreciate the honesty.

yoda57us
09-19-2012, 12:07 AM
Escort agencies, cam sites, Backpage/Craigslist/wherever, mobile stripping services, etc. Maybe they stop going as frequently or spend less when they do go.

And the problem with this is what? Guys who want sex should be going to BP, CL and escort agencies, not trying to get sex from dancers. One of the actual reasons that the quality of dancers has declined is because many very pretty girls who have gotten into stripping have left rather than succumb to being groped, licked, prodded and generally disrespected or asked to perform extras in order to earn a living. It takes a tough skin to be a dancer right now. It's never been a job that every woman could handle and that has only become much more the case. As far as guys who go to cam sites, well, most of them are really good at time-wasting in free chat or haggling with girls over spending 2 or 3 dollars a minute to watch them shove toys in their vaginas and asses. Again, do we really want these guys in strip clubs?


Would you say strip clubs are more or less crowded than 5 years ago? 10? Is it equally crowded? I can't say for certain (haven't been clubbing that long), but everything I've heard says business has dropped in recent years, and even before the economic meltdown in 2008. There are threads on this forum about this topic (one recently, I think). Members on TUSCL (which I know the members here hate that site) regularly bitch about the girls being more attractive years ago.

I don't know what the reasons are, but the consensus is that strip clubs are in need of quality girls and customers.

LOL, Well, here's part of the problem. The people arguing with you here have been going to or working in strip clubs for many years. We understand the dynamic, we understand the economics and we understand how clubs work. You don't. Yes, clubs are less crowded now. Business has declined as folk's disposable and discretionary income has declined. It's really no more complicated than that.


A club that uses the employee model cannot exist with clubs that use the IC model. That's why, in order to work, it would have to be enforced industry-wide. That's not going to happen. Ever. Period. There is no national system for running titty bars any more than there is a national system for running any sort of night club. Cities, counties and states determine local ordinances and club owners and dancers figure what will work and be profitable for all parties based on those ordinances. Is it perfect? Of course not but it's free enterprise. It will never be perfect. Stop confusing strip clubs for some sort of communal or coop-like organization that would ever dream of functioning under a national umbrella of a business model. They are privately owned business run by people who only care about their personal profit. The same goes for the dancers working in them. The fact is some clubs and some dancers will survive and some will not. That's the way it should be.


I know I already said this, but the current system incentivizes the clubs to hire anyone that walks through the door (and can pay tip out). That's why so many clubs are chock full of mediocre talent. And that's why, I think, customers are fleeing the clubs. They walk in, see a room full of average janes (or dogs) and a couple of hotties, and say fuck this. That's terrible for the industry, because that's the impression they'll associate with all clubs.

Well, I've been espousing for many years that private dances and house fees are co-conspirators in the changing business model of strip clubs over the past 20 years. The fact is however that the current system is used to the advantage and disadvantage of both owners and dancers. While it's easy to hire any woman with a pulse and a house fee when you don't actually have to pay them to show up forcing the club to pay them less than $3 an hour wouldn't really change anything for the better. I've already outlined my reasons why so I'm not going to do it again here but I will leave you with this simple fact. Strip clubs are less crowded because customers have less money to spend.

rickdugan
09-19-2012, 01:36 PM
The scenarios you described (fingering, etc.) is considered sexual assault - which is a felony regardless of employment status. Clubs/dancers often don't contact authorities because they're also partaking in illicit activities and don't want to draw the attention of the cops. The girl can press charges against the perpetrator. The girl probably couldn't press charges against the club if the club proved it took reasonable precaution to prevent the crime (bouncers, cameras, etc.). There is a reasonable expectation of contact at strip clubs. There are instances of ICs suing their employers under anti-discrimination laws and winning.

You're grasping at straws now. ICs are not afforded protections under the sexual harassment labor laws and do not normally win straight up sexual harassment/hostile work environment cases. They either find some other back door or first sue to challenge their employment status and THEN sue under existing employment laws.

Now yes, they could call the cops when some guy does something stupid, but then what?


...Or the girls could sue the clubs and challenge their employment status (and likely win).

I thought we already covered, at length, why current dancers want nothing to do with this.


Not to turn this into a political/economic, but I'd hardly say we've seen marginal economic activity over the past 3-4 years. The DJIA has more than doubled, we've seen 12 consecutive quarters of growth in GDP, unemployment has dropped from over 10% to around 8%, the housing market is coming back (prices have stabilized and foreclosures are down), and everything suggests banks are lending more than they were in 2009. Credit restrictions have loosened, interest rates have gone down, and companies are reporting higher profits. Gas prices are high...like they were pre-recession. But gas prices do rise and fall in accordance with economic activity, so the fact that they've gone up so much actually works against you. Consumer spending is up. That's inarguable.

Is someone else paying your bills? Were/are you a liberal arts major? You write fairly well, so you're obviously not a dimwit. I really cannot think of any other explanations for how you are so badly mis-applying economic/market indicators AND seem so out of touch with discretionary spending challenges.

Here are a few tidbits to consider:

1. Neither the GDP nor the DJIA are necessarily correlated to discretionary consumer spending. There are any number of factors that can lead either or both to rise without discretionary spending playing a large roll.

2. Gas prices have a negative impact on discretionary consumer spending by taking additional money out of the pockets of consumers, not only directly but also in the form of higher consumer staples prices (food, plastics, etc.). Higher gas prices = less spending in travel, restaurants, bars, and, yes, SCs.

3. The unemployment statistic is the economic indicator most directly correlated with discretionary consumer spending. When it is high, discretionary consumer spending is generally lower. At over 8%, the unemployment rate is still far higher than it was during boom times. Guess what that means?

4. Credit is still in the toilet compared to where it was during the boom period. Credit spending played a significant role in the last boom cycle.

I bolded the term "discretionary" so that you would be clear about the differences between consumer spending on basic food and staples vs. "discretionary" spending on thigns that consumers do not need to purchase. There are a number of sites that can also describe the difference.

Of course, if you were old enough to have weathered a couple of boom and bust cycles, and were patronizing discretionary service providers, such as strip clubs, hotels, etc., during those times, then we wouldn't even need to have this ridiculous theoretical discussion. In the clubs and in the travel industry, among others I am sure, it still feels like we are in a recession compared to where things were from 2003 through 2007 and even through most of the 90s and into 2000. And until unemployment comes down a lot more and credit standards loosen up, it is likely to remain that way.


Everyone? How on Earth can you make that all-knowing claim? The majority of pro-IC arguments made in this thread depend on strip club operating illegally. Not paying taxes is a great benefit. So is hiring unauthorized and/or trafficked girls to work in your club. I'm not sure why people would fight to keep that going.

Clubs could avoid paying employee benefits by capping hours, like they do now. That would cut a lot of the costs while still offering a base salary for workers (plus a percentage of tips and dances/private rooms sold). That would work better for more than nobody.

Strip clubs operating illegally? Human trafficking? Who said either is happening? Exactly what illegal activities are you accusing club owners of? And with respect to immigrants, IME they come to these clubs willingly and even jump from club to club as they see fit.

Now Melonie did a great job of laying out the various cost issues, so I'm not going to repeat that stuff here. As has been noted time and again, strip club owners and dancers both have a tremendous amount of incentive to keep clubs operating on an IC model. Why are you still so confused about why dancers prefer this model? And what is the source of all of your moral outrage over some of these things anyway?


And how can you say "vastly watered down product" and then say "Now there is one thing that I will agree with, which is that the average "quality" of club stripper, as judged purely by physical appearance, would go up if you killed off a majority of clubs out there"? 'Watered down' never results in increased quality.

One word: CONTACT. Many clubs and dancers rely upon a certain amount of contact in order to sell dances, VIPs, etc.

This has already been explained to you twice, but perhaps the third time will be the charm. Some strip club patrons just do stupid things, period. In places where contact is allowed, there is very little that you can do to stop it from happening as guys often pull this shit before a dancer (or anyone else) has a chance to react. So if your dancers are statutory employees, how does the club, as an employer, meet the hostile work environment prevention standards? How does a club create an environment that is reasonably designed to prevent unruly patrons from grabbing, fondling, licking, kissing, etc.? There is only one way, which is to prohibit contact altogether.


Those dive clubs paint a very poor picture for the industry; they hurt it more than help. Think of all of the times anti-strip club feminists, politicians, or anyone from the general public rails against strip clubs. They'll say everything from dancers being pressured (by management) to offer sexual favors, to exploitative managers, to a general lack of concern for dancer safety, to...you name it. Almost all of the complaints about strip clubs are characteristic of dive clubs. They're easy targets, and they're hurting the overall industry because people are associating those problems as being characteristic of all clubs - even the good ones that run a clean operation. You cut the dive clubs, and many of those arguments can't hold water.

As for being a "Defender" - I'll defend customers, employees, and clubs when people make bogus claims about strip clubs (correlation between strip clubs and rape, degradation of women, etc.), but that doesn't preclude me from saying that many clubs are poorly run (or run dirty). Most of my posts are actually pretty critical of strip clubs and their owners.

Dude, you are deluding yourself if you think most non-industry participants will ever understand, or even care about, the differences between what goes on in a higher end strip club vs. what happens in the corner dive club. Uber-feminists, religious zealots and others with similar viewpoints are not going to be swayed by the argument that the girls ONLY get naked and slither around on guys' laps in various states of undress, but don't give blow jobs. To most of them, it all falls under the general categories of objectification and moral iniquities.

I just don't really understand why you seem to feel such moral outrage over some of the seedier aspects of this industry or why you are so sensitive over the perceptions of people who will never like strip clubs anyway.