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The dancers also face monetary penalties for leaving early or showing up late, the suit alleges. The case centers on whether the dancers are employees or independent contractors — a classification that affects issues such as whether the clubs must pay them a minimum hourly wage or can instead charge them for doing business inside the clubs.
So far, only one dancer has objected to the proposed settlement, which has received preliminary approval from U. District Judge Stephen Murphy as "reasonable, fair and adequate," ahead of a June 7 fairness hearing in Detroit. Minneapolis-area dancer Stephanie Sage said that with as many as 28, dancers sharing in the settlement, the offer is too small. Jesse Young, a Southfield attorney representing the plaintiffs, said many of the dancers may only receive a couple of hundred dollars, but the benefits of the settlement go far beyond the cash settlement and include future wages, unemployment insurance, and the right to unionize if they are deemed club employees.
Until recently, Michigan law prohibited fully nude dancing at clubs where alcohol was served. Having already gone through the lawsuit, which involved a monetary settlement, Deja vu nashville closing said he was determined to resolve the current lawsuit in a way that would rule out another similar suit a few more years down the road.
This settlement does that, making the case unique, he said. Contrary to what many people might think, "the clubs would like the entertainers to be employees" because "they could then control the entertainers and the clubs would make a lot more money," Shafer said.
Young, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said that depends on the individual dancer. But the settlement provides wages and other benefits for dancers who become club employees, plus additional safeguards for those deemed independent contractors, he said. The clubs unlawfully classified the dancers as independent contractors, rather than employees, failed to pay minimum wages, and "engaged in unlawful tip-sharing by requiring dancers The Deja vu nashville closing can't be independent contractors under the law because the clubs "exercise control over all aspects of the working relationship," and dictate hours of operation, lengths of shifts, minimum tips for private dances, tip sharing, even dance themes and costumes, and exclusively handle advertising and promotion, the lawsuit alleges.
The clubs maintain that they ed legally binding contracts with each of the dancers, which have clauses requiring disputes to go to binding arbitration and which bar participation in class-action lawsuits. The clubs also maintain that the dancers are properly classified as nonemployees because they perform when, where and for whom they choose, are not paid by the hour, control their profits and losses and must show independent initiative to be successful, according to records filed in the case. They also argue that the dancers earned far more than minimum wage.
Contact Paul Egan: or pegan freepress. Follow him on Twitter paulegan4.
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Strip clubs fade in booming Nashville