LAS VEGASThe Chicken Ranch on Tuesday filed court papers seeking a review of an order that green-lighted claims by two of its courtesans who alleged the brothel violated federal worker discrimination laws by harassing and retaliating against them because they are Black. The Chicken Ranch of Pahrump, Nev., is seeking oral arguments from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over the question of whether the brothel is an employer covered by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and subjected to its requirements. The two womenKizzy and Daniellefiled a proposed class action in September 2019, saying the Chicken Ranch is liable to them and others under Title VII for race-based mistreatment, including use of the N word. But like all courtesans at the Chicken Ranch, the women worked as independent contractors. A Chicken Ranch attorney in Tuesdays motion claims that because they signed contracts stating they are independent contractors, they are not Title VII-covered employees. The brothels lawyer, Deanna Forbush, said in the motion that U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan got it wrong in a motion-to-dismiss ruling on May 29. They said that Mahan mistakenly found the Chicken Ranch falls under Title VII because it supplies its prostitutes with towels, clothing, cleaning supplies and similar goods that travel in interstate commerce. The Chicken Ranch attorney said Mahan ignored the brothels primary purposethe facilitation of the sale of sex, which occurs entirely intrastate. The final determination of whether plaintiffs are employees covered by Title VII necessarily requires an analysis of both their employer, and their type of employmentas between employee and independent contractorwhich in the context of courtesans in a legal brothel presents a question of first impression upon which fair-minded jurists may differ, Forbush wrote in the motion seeking 9th Circuit review. Defendants specifically seek certification of the following questions for purposes of the interlocutory appeal: Is a business engaged in the unique Nevada industry of legalized prostitution, which in limited part includes the use of goods that have plausibly moved in interstate commerce, subject to the requirements of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? In the motion, the Chicken Ranch also seeks to stay the case pending the appeal if immediate review is allowed.
written by: Rhett Pardon