Court Rules Exotic Dancers at Magic City are Employees Entitled to Wages and to Retain Customer Tips

On March 15, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled that exotic dancers at Magic City in Atlanta, Georgia, qualify as employees according to the Fair Labor Standards (FLSA), a law which requires the Club pay dancers a minimum wage for all hours worked free and clear of deductions.  The Court also ruled that the Club could not offset its wage payment obligation using tips received from customers.

In granting the Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on these issues, Judge Steve C. Jones noted that “actions speak louder than words,” and “[m]erely calling an employee an ‘independent contractor’ or a ‘tenant’ does not make it so for the purposes of the FLSA.”  The Court went on to hold that exotic dancers are “quite clearly not ‘in business for [themselves],’ but were ‘dependent upon’” the Club for employment.

“The Court’s well-reasoned order is just the latest in a long line of decisions all holding exotic dancers qualify as employees entitled to hourly minimum wages in addition to their tips,” said Plaintiffs’ attorney Rebekah L. Bailey.  “This is a just result, and reflects that Exotic dancers deserve the same legal protections as other employees.”

Plaintiffs are represented by Paul J. Lukas, Michele R. Fisher, Rebekah L. Bailey, Anna P. Prakash, and Ashley R. Thronson from Nichols Kaster, PLLP, and John Mays of Mays & Kerr LLC.  The case is styled Vaughan v. Paradise Entertainment Group, Inc., No. 1:14-CV-914-SCJ (N.D. Ga.).