West L.A.’s 4Play Hit With Exotic Dancer Misclassification Suit

LOS ANGELES—4Play, one of West Los Angeles’ most well-known gentlemen’s clubs, has been hit with a federal lawsuit alleging its operators failed to pay proper wages and subjected its stable of exotic dancers to unlawful kickbacks. In a new suit filed Friday, a former performer brought a class and collective action on behalf of herself and all other exotic dancers who have worked at 4Play Gentlemen’s Club for the past three years. The club, located in the heart of West Los Angeles where the San Diego and Santa Monica Freeways meet, is one of the region’s most popular and has been a starting or midpoint for some working in the adult movie industry. But the exotic dancer’s lawsuit paints an employment scenario that wasn’t quite equitable. All of the dancers weren’t paid wages, the suit said. “When they dance at 4Play, dancers wear the ‘hat’ of the club, rather than their own ‘hat’ as an independent business,” the lawsuit, filed at Los Angeles federal court, said. Across the U.S., since 2005, 430 federal “independent contractor” misclassification lawsuits have been filed against adult entertainment operators. “Dancers are central to 4Play’s adult entertainment business model, and the club would not exist without them,” attorney Anne Kramer told AVN. Kramer, of Boston-based Lichten & Liss-Riordan who represents the exotic dancer, said the suit against 4Play is no different than the 430 others. “By classifying them as independent contractors,” Kramer said. “4Play profits from the presence of the dancers, while denying them minimum wage and overtime compensation, requiring them to pay a multitude of fees and tip-outs, and depriving them of the protections offered to employees, which are particularly important during the current pandemic.” AVN attempted to reach operators of 4Play for comment but was unsuccessful. The club, which has been at its current location for more than 15 years, currently is closed due to the pandemic but, according to reports, may open up next week. At 4Play, the club’s website says, the venue showcases “the most attractive girls in the world on a nightly basis.” 4Play was ranked as top gentlemen’s club by Men’s Fitnesss in recent years, and has earned media kudos from LA Weekly, AskMen.com and Zagat. In the suit, Kramer noted that the club typically has up to 50 “unpaid” dancers working through the week during set shifts. Dancers, the suit said, must provide photos for marketing materials. They also are required to wear upscale lingerie while maintaining a slim physique during work. “Defendants have fired multiple dancers for gaining weight,” the suit said.   Relying solely upon tips collected directly from customers, the suit said, “the dancers are required to pay various fees in the form of mandatory tip outs of $10 to bartenders, $10 to security and $20 to DJs.” The dancer’s lawsuit against 4Play seeks certification as a class action, as well as issuance of notice to current and former employees of defendants who are potential members of the collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act, giving them the opportunity to opt-in to the action. The suit also seeks monetary damages and back pay, as well as attorney’s fees. 

written by: Rhett Pardon

source: West L.A.’s 4Play Hit With Exotic Dancer Misclassification Suit | AVN