Mar 7, 2024

5 Facts About Stripper Minimum Pay Wage Laws

Dancer heels near pole

The adult entertainment industry is huge, and like all industries, sometimes it’s so big that it’s hard to know when you’re being treated fairly. If you’re an exotic dancer, stripper, or adult performer, your club or boss might do things that are against the law and affect how much money you make.

Here are five common examples of ways your club might be taking your money.

1. A Lot of Dancers Don’t Get Paid by the Club

If you work somewhere, they should pay you. Period. “Working for tips” might be normal in all the clubs you and your friends work, but that doesn’t make it okay. If you work somewhere, they should be paying you at least the minimum wage ($2.13 federally for people who make tips).

And if no clubs pay at least minimum wage, in addition to tips? That’s against the law. Not only do you deserve better, but you can fight for what you’re owed. There’s also a chance you’re misclassified, which means you’re being called an “independent contractor” or “salaried employee” so your boss can avoid paying overtime or treating you as a full-time worker.

2. Some Dancers Aren’t Allowed To Work in Multiple Places

For many people, stripping is a part-time job. But for others, it might be their full-time job. But what if your club doesn’t let you work full-time hours? You might turn to another club.

But a lot of clubs don’t let their performers work in other clubs: if they do, they’ll get fired. In some states, including California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, a “non-compete” clause or agreement is against the law — they can’t stop you from working somewhere else. And even in states where non-compete clauses are legal, they don’t necessarily apply to you.

3. Dancers Often Give Away Tips

Giving money to the bartender? To the bouncers? To the DJ? If your take-home is less than the federal minimum wage ($7.25), that’s already against the law. Then again, if you’re not getting paid at all by the club (see the first section), that’s even worse.

Think about it: if the bouncers, DJ, and bartenders make part of your tips, and you only make tips, what’s the club making?

4. Paying to Dance

It’s really common for strippers to have their “spots” in the club, and that goes along with a common policy: paying for your spot. It’s like you’re a performer and they’re giving you space as a gift, or like you’re renting out a place for your individual business.

But as a company that hired and (hopefully) pays you, you shouldn’t be paying them to be their own worker. It’s just another way they’re making money off of you that you won’t see in tips.

5. Charged for Lateness

Running late because of the subway, or your kids, or a delayed class, or traffic? In a lot of jobs, this wouldn’t mean much (except maybe an annoyed boss). But a lot of adult dancers have told us they’re charged for being late, even if it’s not their fault at all.

You’re already missing out on tips when you’re late. Why should you have to pay, too?

There are so many ways that clubs try to take advantage of their workers, especially because some people find the industry taboo. That can make dancers less likely to come forward and fight for their rights because they’re worried about what other people think of their job.

What Next?

If anything above sounds like you, or you think something else suspicious is going on at work, we can help. We can fight for the money your boss owes you. Contacting us about your case is anonymous and it’s completely free, so don’t be afraid to reach out for advice or to see if you’re eligible. Our attorneys want you to be treated fairly; that’s their main concern.