An exotic dancer has filed a class action suit on behalf of herself and approximately 50 other dancers. The federal wage and hour complaint is filed against Pleasers, which is located in the southern part of Atlanta. The lawsuit is worded in order to allow additional dancers to join the suit if they so desire.
Court documents allege that the owners of the club inappropriately classified the dancers as independent contractors in violation of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A similar lawsuit was filed by another dancer against a different Atlanta club just weeks before the one against Pleasers. Dancers worked for tips only and often actually had to pay the owners to work at the club.
The primary differences between an independent contractor and an employee are (i) the control that the purported employer has, (ii) how permanent the relationship is and (iii) how pay is determined. In the instant case, the dancer alleges that the owners of the club set how many hours that dancers work, what time the dancers work, what they wear and other aspects of their job. The lawsuit alleges that the control of these details makes the dancers employees. It will be up to a federal judge to determine whether the woman is right.
These two current cases are not the first ones to be filed against strip clubs in Atlanta, and they may not be the last. Certain industries that categorize their workers as independent contractors instead of employees may benefit from a thorough review of the applicable sections of the FLSA. If employees are incorrectly categorized, a company could also end up facing a wage and hour complaint.
Source: ajc.com, Dancers file class action suit against Atlanta strip club, Marcus K. Garner, Nov. 6, 2013