It isn’t just factory workers or office staff that is protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The act can also apply to the adult entertainment industry. In fact, there has been a string of lawsuits against strip clubs across the country because they fail to pay the dancers in accordance with the minimum hourly wage laws.
According to this lawsuit, two former exotic dancers at the Red Garter Saloon strip club are suing the company and its owner Mark Rossi over unpaid wages. Michea Dixon and Rebecca Wiles claim in a seventeen page complaint that Red Garter Saloon, Rossi, and his company, Keys Productions, Inc., violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying them an hourly wage or overtime. Their lawsuit states that the women claim their only form of compensation was by way of tips and that the business failed to pay the plaintiff any wages whatsoever, throughout her employment.
Their legal representation wrote in the complaint that the business has a “longstanding policy of misclassifying their employees as independent contractors.” He alleges in the complaint such a classification is illegal. This lawsuit is very similar to several other lawsuits filed by exotic dancers alleging wage theft as per the independent contractor classification, which appears to be the common theme in other litigation.
The women also claim that that the business also violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by its alleged practice of “siphoning away those tips to distribute to non-tip eligible employees,” which the lawsuit lists as the disc jockeys, wait staff and security guards. According to the lawsuit the dancers were expected to pay “house fees” depending on the day and shift the dancer was working. Dixon had been a dancer for about three years. Court documents do not state how long Wiles worked there.
The complaint included all other dancers, current and former, who worked or work at the Red Garter Saloon since October 2010 as potential plaintiffs as well. Both women seek all unpaid wages for that time, including all “misappropriated tips” and house fees as well as attorney fees.
Mark Rossi was issued a summons regarding the lawsuit on Dec. 1, according to court records. He declined to comment on the pending litigation. No trial date has been set yet.
Unfortunately cases just like this one occur all too often to employees all over the United States as well as to employees right here in Tennessee. If you or someone you know has been denied hourly wages or overtime pay for hours that you have worked, then it is recommended that you talk to one of our compassionate and experienced employment and overtime pay attorneys with the Higgins Firm. We care about our clients and realize that you work very hard. We will review your claim and determine if you may be eligible for compensation. If you are, we will work with you and fight on your behalf to see to it that you receive fair compensation for your hard work and make sure the company or employer pays for violating your employment rights.
Please contact us today online or by calling 800.705.2121 to discuss your legal options.