In yet another terrible example of dancers and strippers being taken advantage of we learned about the Ball Gentleman’s club in Knoxville Tennessee. The dancers are now suing the club alleging illegal working conditions, and being treated as commodities.
The club claims the women aren’t employees with rights to wage and labor protection, but simply strippers for hire so they classify them as contract laborers. Ball Gentleman’s club has had a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Tennessee in a similar fashion as what took place against Déjà vu Services. Déjà vu paid out $6.5 million to cover 28,000 dancers.
Details of the Ball lawsuit claim dancers were required to work four days a week in nine hour shifts. They have to pay $30 per shift simply for the right to dance. There is also a late fee of $10 for not showing up or dancing on time. The worst offence is if they are sick and can’t work, they must pay $100 for every shift missed.
We decide how you will dress, what costumes and props to use and parade you in front of customers for an hour to show off your bodies. If you refuse to parade you will be fined $5.
Lawyers for the dancers in court say “The purpose is for defendants’ customers to see all the girls at one time and decide whether they want a private dance.”
Other so called “Fees” mount up for the dancers.
At Ball Gentleman’s club the owners charge $20 for a “table dance.” A “VIP dance” costs a customer $40. A customer must fork out $60 just to enter the private “Champagne Room” and is billed for every minute he spends there alone with a nude dancer.
However the dancers don’t receive any of that money. According to the dancers, if a customer tips them, the owners take $5 for every table dance, $10 for VIPs and $20 for each song played in the “Champagne Room.”
Lawyers for the dancers in court stated: “Each (dancer’s) job duties are essentially identical: while in various stages of undress including being totally nude, plaintiffs dance provocatively on defendants’ stage for the entertainment of defendants’ paying customers,”
“While not dancing on stage, defendants require plaintiffs to mingle and engage in conversation with their customers to encourage those customers to buy private dances from plaintiffs. Plaintiffs do not market themselves outside the club nor do they hold themselves out to the general public as individual entertainers available for hire.”
Why are there so many of these Strip Club Lawsuits?
Mainly because many women who are dancers are now learning about their worker rights, and we applaud them for doing this. Fact of the matter is that classifying exotic dancers as independent contractors is illegal in almost every state.
All businesses and industries operate under FLSA law, the Fair Labor and Standards Act. These laws are written to protect workers from being manipulated and taken advantage of.
FLSA laws were first signed into law in June 1938, FLSA was designed to “put a ceiling over hours and a floor under wages” by establishing an eventual maximum 40 weekly work hours, a minimum wage of 40 cents an hour by 1945, and prohibiting most child labor.
Strippers are using FLSA law to reform their industry as a whole.
What do the dancer gain by suing their clubs? At a minimum dancers can receive back-pay for 2 to 3 years of earned wages. They can also recoup any and all tips they paid out in tip pools, and any other monetary benefits related to an employee status.
How much money are we talking about? We asked our stripper advocate Sadie McLaren, our guest blogger, and she stated that she made $100,000 in one year at her club in Iowa. However because of the tip outs she had to pay out $62,000 thus taking home a mere $38,000.
Does that seem fair to you? If you are, or were an exotic or topless or full nude dancer and have experienced unfair pay we can help you regain your dignity and pay that may have been taken illegally from you. You have rights to sue the club’s owner(s) or corporation.
The first step in joining the Stripper individual employment lawsuit is to simply call us at 1-800-214-1010, or use the contact form on this page. The lawyers and attorneys at National Injury Help are ready to file these claims. Take action now and protect your rights!