Nichols Kaster, PLLP attorneys represent exotic dancers in two cases that were ready for trial and recently settled.
The first case includes male exotic dancers who worked for an Atlanta club called Swinging Richards, which caters primarily to gay clientele. The evening before the January 17th trial was set to begin, Swinging Richards agreed to pay $1.36 million to 37 dancers.
The second case involves female exotic dancers who worked at Magic City, a club known for hosting rappers and other celebrities and frequently referenced in songs and music videos. Just days before the trial was scheduled to begin, Magic City agreed to settle with 28 dancers.
Both cases involved unlawful payment schemes where the clubs did not pay its dancers anything to work. Instead, the clubs required dancers to pay to work by charging them nightly house fees, fines, and by requiring them to tip the clubs’ other workers. Dancers relied solely on the clubs’ customers for their earnings in the form of tips.
In both cases, the courts found that the dancers should have been classified as employees rather than independent contractors. As a result, the dancers were entitled to the minimum wage protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act and reimbursement for all house fees, fines and the money entertainers were required to tip other employees.
Michele Fisher, one of the attorneys representing the dancers, stated, “businesses have wage and hour responsibilities to their employees. The strip club industry, with its illegal pay to work scheme, is no exception. We are pleased with these victories for our clients.”
The attorneys representing the dancers are Paul Lukas, Michele Fisher, Rebekah Bailey, Robert Schug, and Jason Friedman of Nichols Kaster, PLLP. The cases are entitled Henderson et al v. 1400 Northside Drive, Inc. d/b/a Swinging Richards, and C.B. Jones, Civ. Action. 1:13-cv-3767, and Vaughan et al v. Paradise Enter. Group, Inc. d/b/a Magic City, Civ. Action 1:14-cv-000914.