Three strip club dancers have hired the employment lawyers at Kennedy Hodges LLP to represent them in a wage and hour claim against their employer seeking minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. When the employer learned of the suit, he allegedly tried to have workers sign a contract to waive their rights to join the suit when the workers were intoxicated. Workers claimed they were terminated or threatened with termination for not signing the document. The employer’s actions are considered employer retaliation.
The Dallas Observer has followed the lawsuit we filed on this case. Their latest story includes comments from Galvin Kennedy, the principal attorney handling this case. Click here to read the Dallas Observer's articles on the subject, Strippers Have Rights. But Do They Want Them? and In Dallas Federal Court, Three Strip-Club Dancers Demand Minimum Wage, Overtime.
Overtime and Tip Law Violations
The strip clubs allegedly violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay the dancers any minimum wage or overtime pay. Instead, the dancers were required to share tips with the club, the DJ, and other employees who do not receive tips. The dancers worked at Jaguars Gold Club locations in Texas and Arizona, including Abilene, Dallas, Fort Worth, Odessa, and Lubbock.
Dancer Lawsuit Seeks Class-Action Status
Current and former dancers for Jaguars Gold Club could be eligible to join the suit and recover money. Other dancers may have been victim of the same pay practices, including:
- Tip violations: dancers claim they were forced to tip out the house and share tips with DJs, managers and other employees who do not customarily receive tips.
- Misclassification as "Independent contractor" or 1099 employeeDancers work over 40 hours a week, but claim they are not paid minimum wage or overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
If a violation is proven a dancer would also be able to recover liquidated damages or double damages under the law. If you are a current or former dancer and believe that you are a victim of similar unfair pay practices, sign our consent form here to join an wage and hour lawsuit with Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P.
Where To Go For Questions
Galvin Kennedy and Ricardo Prieto of Kennedy Hodges, LLP are the lead attorneys representing the workers in the lawsuit. You may contact them by e-mail or phone:
If you aren't receiving your overtime pay, contact our wage lawyers for a free case review at 888-449-2068. You can also order our free book, Exotic Dancers' Rights to Fair Pay Under the Law, to learn how to take action.
Courts have spoken on this issue: dancers are employees, not independent contractors.
Entertainers at adult clubs like the chain of Jaguars Gold Clubs have gained work place rights over the years through numerous legal actions. Here is a summary of some of the cases:
Reich v. Circle C Invs., (5th Cir. 1993) (exotic dancers found to be employees under the FLSA); Diaz v. Scores Holding Co., (New York 2008)( certifying FLSA collective of dancers and other employees at NY City adult club); Whiting v. W & R Corp., (West Virginia 2005) (rejecting club's argument in case brought by topless dancers); Harrell v. Diamond A Entm't, Inc., (Florida 1997) (finding dancers at adult club were employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act); Reich v. Priba Corp., (Texas 1995) (after trial to the judge, dancers at adult night club found to be employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act); Donovan v. Tavern Talent & Placements, Inc., (Colorado 1986) (night club employed dancers and violated rights as tipped workers); Chaves v. King Arthur's Lounge, Inc., (Massachusetts 2009) (bar misclassified topless dancers as independent contractors under state law); Smith v. Tyad, Inc., (Montana 2009) (upholding governmental agency's conclusion that exotic dancers were employees and agency's finding that "stage fees" were unlawful).