A group of exotic dancers has won a nearly $13 million settlement for a wage dispute claim, according to NBC News in San Diego. Fourteen dancers filed the class action lawsuit against three strip clubs—Spearmint Rhino, Rouge and Blue Zebra. The plaintiffs complained the club misclassified them as independent contractors as opposed to full-time employees in order to deny the dancers pay and benefits. The dancers who filed the complaint worked at clubs in California, Nevada, Florida, Texas, Idaho and Kentucky.
The dancers claim that their annual gross revenue was over $500,000, but they were forced to split their tips with club managers, doormen, DJ’s, floor walkers and other employees. The clubs did this “to maximize the club’s revenues and profits by disregarding applicable wage and hour laws,” according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs claim that the clubs threatened to retaliate when they complained.
These clubs classified the dancers as independent contractors and garnished the tips they earned. If the dancers were independent contractors, therefore paying their own income tax, why would the clubs have think they have the right to their tips?
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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles wage dispute lawyers