View Full Version : Woman sues strip club over wages

03-28-2014, 11:58 AM
Thought this was cool, hope the women are successful!!


Full article:

A Wisconsin woman is suing Shakers strip club, saying the owner has not paid her or other dancers an hourly wage or overtime in the three years she has worked at the club west of Waverly.

Elizabeth Mays says in the lawsuit filed Thursday that the strip club considers its exotic dancers independent contractors to avoid paying hourly wages and overtime.

In the suit, Lincoln attorney Vince Powers says she and other dancers fit the legal definition of employees because the club regulates when and how long they work, what they wear, how long they dance. He says the dancers are even required to clean the bathrooms.

Powers also points to a 2001 Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court ruling against Shakers that found dancers are employees.

shanna dior
03-28-2014, 01:39 PM
This has been happening more and more lately, and sadly the outcomes aren't always positive for the dancers that remain -- or even those that file the claim, as they don't always get the most generous settlements.

You might find these threads about other cases interesting:

03-28-2014, 01:58 PM
this is NOT a good thing. no stripper in her right mind would want to be an employee. the money that they lose out on when they make us employees will come out of somewhere else you can bet your ass. they will be taking money from us one way or another!! it will probably cost us much more after all is said and done, girls will be looking back at "house fee" days fondly.
travelling dancers will be shit out of luck probably. they will probably be limiting any walk ins, and the number of days you can work, hell i've heard of a club paying dancers a low wage and making them split all their tips and taking ALL their dance money. who would want that?? girls dance because they don't want to be a regular employee!!
the girls who do this are short -sighted and ruining it for the rest of us trying to make a living. they don't even get any money after having their settlement taxed ( and its a very high tax), and paying off their lawyers.
no i don't like greedy clubs that treat us like shit, but this is not the right way to go about it

03-28-2014, 08:54 PM
Interesting! This club is actually a few miles away from my apt. It's a giant pink barn! But yeah.. I think it's shitty they are making the women comply by employee rules (cleaning the bathroom? get a damn janitor!) but still writing them off as indy. Maybe this will make the owners lessen up on some of those more stringent rules but who knows!

03-28-2014, 10:36 PM
Having them clean the bathroom makes them employees.

03-29-2014, 05:44 AM
^^^ bottom line on 'employer' clubs and 'employee' dancers is this. On the one hand, the same number of customers are walking in the club, and they are spending the same amount of money. On the other hand, as an 'employer', the club must now make 'new' payments to institute IRS compliant accounting and payroll system, the club must now make 'new' payments to state unemployment and disability insurance funds, the club must make 'new' payments to the gov't for failing to provide health insurance coverage, etc.

If the same amount of money is coming into the club, but money must now start to flow out of the club to make the above 'new' payments, this guarantees that less money will remain in the pockets of dancers !!!

In regard to such lawsuits, the only real 'beneficiaries' are the dancers who actually bring the successful lawsuit plus their attorney. It is a standing joke in certain cities that suing a club and receiving a settlement is a dancer's only 'retirement fund'. Unfortunately, both the club itself and future dancers working at the club will experience negative financial fallout once the club is forced to treat all its dancers as 'employees'.

03-29-2014, 07:12 AM
I live in Mass and there have been several "successful" lawsuits where dancers were found to be employees rather than IC's. In all cases the suits were brought and won by FORMER dancers who, as Melonie mentioned, were the ONLY ones, along with their attorneys, to benefit financially from the legal action. The ladies working in those clubs now who are actually still trying to earn a living have been hampered by the change in status. One club raised it's dance prices by a third in order to begin taking a cut that they had not previously been taking so that they could generate new OWNER revenue to pay for the additional operating expenses of having employees instead of IC's. The result was a huge drop in revenue for the girls as customers are now buying far fewer dancers and many have abandoned the club all together. It's worth noting as well that the owner has NOT put all of the girls on the books-something that appears to be very common around the Mass clubs that have lost these lawsuits. I have a many favs in these clubs and not one of them feels that she is better off as an employee than she was as an IC.

The bottom line is that club owners will find a way to recoup whatever losses are incurred by any legally mandated change in business plan. It's not going to come from their end. It's going to, one way or another, come from the dancer's piece of the club revenue pie.

Be careful what you wish for.

03-30-2014, 06:05 PM
One club raised it's dance prices by a third in order to begin taking a cut that they had not previously been taking so that they could generate new OWNER revenue to pay for the additional operating expenses of having employees instead of IC's. The result was a huge drop in revenue for the girls as customers are now buying far fewer dancers and many have abandoned the club all together.

Yup, 'employee' dancer clubs must still attempt to compete with 'independent contractor' clubs in a free marketplace ... but this automatically creates an 'un-level playing field' because the 'employee' dancer clubs must now pay out significant new 'costs of doing business' which the independent contractor clubs do not have to pay. Obviously, an 'employee' clubowner thinking that they can enact price increases on customers to cover these additional new 'costs of doing business' ignores the financial fact that the marketplace will react ( negatively ).

In terms of 'off the record' comments from industry related acquaintances, city / state gov'ts would vastly prefer that ALL clubs within their jurisdiction be forced to operate under an 'employee' dancer business model ... because this not only leads to improved dancer income reporting thus increased state income tax revenue collections from dancers, but also requires 'employer' club contributions to broke state unemployment and disability funds etc. Every successful lawsuit against an individual club leads the city / state one step closer to achieving the 'critical mass' necessary to declare all dancers in the state to be 'statutory' employees. Additionally, the clubowners who have been on the receiving end of successful 'employee' dancer lawsuits are fully supportive of such a change, since it would effectively 're-level the playing field' versus competing 'independent contractor' clubs. While I'm reluctant to speculate about details, IMHO the 'handwriting is on the wall' that independent contractor dancer status is under systematic attack.

However, in the final analysis, the same number of dollars being spent by club customers, but a portion of those dollars being redirected toward new 'costs of doing business', by definition means fewer dollars left for the club and/or the dancers. And,as Yoda pointed out, given that 'employee' clubowners have full legal control over dancer private dance / VIP revenues, it is virtually guaranteed that ALL of these new 'costs of doing business' will come out of the dancers' incomes.

On the flip side, what benefits accrue to 'employee' dancers ???

- a 6.75% reduction in Social Security tax ... which must now be paid by the 'employer' club, probably via the club collecting additional customer money that was previously paid out to dancers.

- unemployment insurance coverage / disability insurance coverage / subsidized health insurance for 'full time' employee dancers. However, 'employer' clubowners will probably deal with the high associated additional costs by mandating that no 'employee' dancer can schedule more than 29 hours per week to maintain 'part time' status thus ineligibility for these insurance benefits.

- abolishment of the club charging house / stage fees ... which is likely to be ( partially ) replaced by the 'employer' club charging locker rental fees instead

- much simpler 'employee' income tax filing requirements ... but based on a lower and more fully reported income.