DALLAS Nearly two dozen lawsuits alleging worker misclassification involving nude and topless dancers have been filed since the beginning of January, according to AVN research. Each of the federal lawsuits involve at least one exotic dancer who has alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by alleging the strip clubs misclassified them as independent contractors. The suits, typically filed as collective actions, seek additional plaintiffs who were violated. Collective actions under the FLSA are like class actions, but they work differently. In a collective action, the employees who want to be part of the lawsuit must affirmatively opt in by signing a document to that effect. Gregg Greenberg, a Silver Springs, Md.-based attorney working on behalf of plaintiffs who worked at the Night Trips club in Tulsa, Okla., told AVN that the theme of strip club dancer misclassification lawsuits is the same: The law is very well settled dancer employees cant be independent contractors. In research seeking FLSA civil actions since Jan. 1, seven adult clubs offering exotic dancing in Florida were sued over wage violations; another seven clubs in Texas also faced litigation. Four clubs in California faced similar legal claims, as well as venues in Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. In each of the suits filed, exotic dancer plaintiffs alleged clubs broke the law when they failed to pay them an hourly wage, often requiring them instead to pay operators to work there through house fees. Here are 22 U.S. clubs offering nude and topless dancing that have been sued this year for allegations of worker misclassification (since Jan. 1): California Goldfingers Gentlemens ClubSilver ReignSkin Gentlemens ClubSynn Gentlemens Club FloridaBooby Trap on the RiverCheetah Hallandale BeachE11EVEN MiamiFlash DancerMermaids Gentlemens ClubsPink PonySolid Gold Gentlemens ClubMassachusettsKings Inn Premier Gentlemens ClubMichiganThe Fight ClubOklahomaNight Trips TexasHeartbreakers Gentlemens ClubThe Landing StripThe PalazioPoleKatzPTs Mens ClubStilettos CabaretYellow RoseWisconsinFull Moon Saloon Since 2005 and through the end of last year, a Bloomberg study found 406 lawsuits by dancers alleging clubs misclassified them as independent contractors. More than half of the cases ended in a settlement. One of the biggest settlements involved the Spearmint Rhino chain, which paid $13 million to thousands of current and former dancers. Another case that didnt reach trial involved Deja Vu Showgirls, which agreed to pay out $1.5 million to dancers. Some misclassification cases involving exotic dancers have ended with big jury awards. A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury awarded several hundred dancers at Paradise Show Girls $6.5 million. In another case, operators of Ricks Cabaret in New York were ordered to pay $10.8 million in back wages to 1,900 dancers. Pictured: Stilettos Cabaret in Fort Worth, Texas.
written by: Rhett Pardon