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Bryant Whitten, LLP

California company settles dancer's wage disputes

When employees pool together, they can defeat unfair practices by company owners. Recently, a multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit was settled against a strip club franchise based out of California. Dancers alleged unfair treatment and wage disputes in this case, according to a recent news story. 

The case was decided in federal court, since the franchise operates in several states. The lawsuit claimed that the clubs treated topless and nude dancers as independent contractors instead of regular employees. Dancers claimed that they were making less than minimum wage, were forced to share tips with other club employees and had to pay fees to work in the club.

A judge approved a settlement in favor of the dancers, awarding a $6.5 million settlement for 28,000 current or former exotic dancers spread across 18 states. Some dancers will receive settlement checks for as little as $200, depending on how long they worked for the franchise, and others will receive much more. The dancers can now choose to be classified as employees, while other dancers who choose to remain as independent contractors can decide to have dance fees paid out of a $4.5 million pool of credit also allocated as part of the settlement.

This California company will now be revising its policies around employment and wages in order to avoid future wage disputes. Other California employees are granted the same rights to fair wages and other employment protections. Workers who feel that they are also victims of unfair wage practices may choose to consult with a lawyer who can help them file a claim in order to seek justice for any wrongs incurred. 

Source: CBS News, "Judge orders millions in back wages to 28,000 exotic dancers", June 20, 2017

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