In Dallas Federal Court, Three Strip-Club Dancers Demand Minimum Wage, Overtime

Categories: Legal Battles
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Next time you roll into a gentleman's establishment, ask yourself one question: Is this place in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938? That's the law that established a national minimum wage and overtime pay. But the women who dance in topless and nudie joints don't make minimum wage and overtime. It's strictly tips for tat, if that, once they divvy up the ones, fives and 20s with everyone else, from the house mom to the DJ to the owner who charges a lot just for a little time on the main stage.

Which is why, earlier this year, a federal judge in D.C. ruled in favor of four dancers who worked at a place called The House, insisting that they were employees due a fair wage, not merely "independent contractors" shaking it for loose change. And that's hardly the lone case: Entertainers in California, New York, Nevada, Arkansas, Michigan and Louisiana have taken strip clubs to court, claiming they're in violation of federal law. Some clubs have settled. Which may be why more and more cases are being filed -- like the one that landed at the Earle Cabell on Friday afternoon, brought by three women who've spent time on the pole at Jaguars Gold Club and are suing the Dallas-based ownership over proper pay.

Long story short, from the litigation:
JGC Dallas LLC and Bryan Scott Foster require and/or permit Erica Jones, Crystal Winter and Selisha Brooks to work as exotic dancers at their adult entertainment clubs in excess of 40 hours per week, but refuse to compensate them at the applicable minimum wage and overtime rates. In fact, Defendants refuse to compensate them whatsoever for any hours worked. Plaintiffs' only compensation is in the form of tips from club patrons. Moreover, Plaintiffs are required to divide their tips with Defendants and other employees who do not customarily receive tips. Therefore, Defendants have failed to compensate Plaintiffs at the federally-mandated minimum wage rate. Defendants' conduct violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires non-exempt employees to be compensated for their overtime work at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.
The suit, which follows, lays out how dancers divvy up their takes at the end of each night. And the three women are hoping to make theirs a class action, which shouldn't be hard in one of the world's biggest strip-club markets.Erica Jones, Crystal Winter and Selisha Brooks v Jaguars
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26 comments
mplsmiraclepromo
mplsmiraclepromo

STRIPPERS DONT EARN THEIR MONEY HAHAHA THATS EXACTLY BACKWARDS THINKING A DANCER DOES EXACTLY THAT MAYBE EVEN MORE SO THAN OTHERS IF A DANCER DOESNT WORK OR EARN HER MONEY SHE WONT GET A DOLLAR UNLIKE MOST THE WORLD WHO CAN JUST GO TO WORK MAKE THE SAME AMOUNT EVERY HOUR WHETHER YOUR DOING YOUR JOB PR PUCKING YOUR NOSE U STILL GET THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY UNLIKE A STRIPPER WHO HAS TO BE CPNSTANTLY DOING HER JOB TO MAKE ANY MONEY SHE IS NEVER GARUNTEED A DAMN THING IF U ASK ME YOUR THE LAZY PERSON WHO DOESNT EARN THEIR MONEY IDIOT

md
md

You probably shouldn't be employed as a dancer if you can't earn minimum wage.

Most likely they did, but failed to report all their taxable income.

154443
154443

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Kevin H
Kevin H

You mean all the strippers aren't REALLY working through their College years ?

Stuck in Odessa/Midland
Stuck in Odessa/Midland

Jaguar's eh? The big one is in Odessa. In fact, I think it's the "flagship" (i think).I've never seen one outside of West Texas, until recently. They used to have a PLATINUM club but it got shut down. In fact anything club that opens up in that space folds pretty fast. Out here, if you're a new club and you aren't Karaoke, Honky-Tonk/Biker, or Tejano, GOOD LUCK.

Aaaaannnnnny waaaaaay, unless those girls aren't very attractive, they can do a LOT better than Jaguar's.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I need to see pictures of the Plaintiffs to decide whether or not they have a case here.

JS
JS

Where are the pictures?

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

Yeah baby....here is your minimum wage...right here between my legs.......

Does that sound butch?

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Since when did places where people worked for tips have to give minimum wage? When I was a waitress, we made a $1.10 an hour so they could deduct taxes for the tips we earned. We averaged about $15-20+ an hour back in the early 80's.

If they want minimum wage, pay them that, and the house then takes all the tips off of them as they walk off the stage. Get real. what a waste of court time.

Guest
Guest like.author.displayName 1 Like

Since when did places where people worked for tips have to give minimum wage?

Since 1966.

Ed D.
Ed D.

The local Chili's doesn't make their waitresses pay a $50-100/shift "house fee" for the privilege of serving margaritas and chicken-fried chicken.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

They also don't pull down an average of $500 per night... or do they???

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

 My days of visiting such places are far behind me, but strips clubs are like any other business--they cater to a range of customers and price ranges.  I have no idea where Jaguars is in the hierarchy, but some clubs are more high-end than others and women who work there make more (and the ships tend to be run pretty tight).  At some of the more low end places women probably don't make anywhere near $500 a night.  Also, the places that make the customers tip in scrip (as cited in this complaint) have control over the "exchange rate" as opposed the places that let the women collect cash.  My guess is these women want to be real independent contractors as opposed to paid minimum wage, but this is a good way to get some leverage. 

Good luck to them.

Lorlee
Lorlee like.author.displayName 1 Like

When I served on the City's License and Permit Appeal Board -- the clubs used to insist that any shenanigans (prostitution, drugs, etc.) weren't their fault since all these girls were independent contractors.  Since there are a lot of requirements to be met in order to be an independent contractor, my question to them was -- So you have no idea if Misty, or Busty or whoever is going to show up on a Friday night?  One of the requrements for independent contractor status is that you set your own schedule.  They looked me in the eye and said "That's right"  It was bogus then and is bogus now. You go girls.

ChrisU
ChrisU

i'll be home late, i had a meeting with an 'independent contractor'

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Two things Roberto:

1: Tips for Tits, No?2: Where in the hell is Case McCoy?

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I would like Richie Whitt's opinion on this article. I think he has more experience in this type of business than anyone else on staff. He should be brought back like Merten has for his sports expertise. what say you?

Macsplusmore
Macsplusmore

This must be a lousy strip club because most girls make way more than minimum wage.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Not guaranteed, check out the girls deal at Caberet Royal..Methinks they pay 50-100 bucks for the privilege.

Gabe
Gabe

Wait wait wait...There's a place where you can pay women to dance on your lap? 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Back in the day, off of NW hwy..you could honk their boobs while they did it. Good times with 7 dollar beera.

Inquiring Mind
Inquiring Mind

Are those real names or stage names on the complaint?Are disclosures communicated during a lap dance protected by attorney-client privilege?

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