Earlier this month, Morgan & Morgan attorney Andrew Frisch filed a motion seeking conditional certification of class of at least 50 adult entertainers who were misclassified as “independent contractors” by the Foxy Lady Lounge, a Georgia strip club.
According to the lawsuit, the Foxy Lady Lounge violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay any wages to its adult dancers. Instead, the strip club required its dancers to pay a $20 “house fee” to work a shift.
As alleged in the lawsuit, the Columbus, Georgia strip club also charged higher fees for busy nights and for arriving late. Furthermore, the club allegedly charged the dancers additional fees or fines for talking back to Foxy Lady’s management, failing to clean the dressing room and bathroom, or other violations of the club’s policies. The lawsuit alleges that these fees constitute unlawful kickbacks under the Fair Labor and Standards Act.
Not only did the club fail to pay minimum wage, but it also did not pay its workers any overtime wages, as required by federal law.
In addition, the dancers are allegedly required to attend mandatory meetings at the Foxy Lady Lounge, but are not paid for attendance at these meetings. The lawsuit alleges that the club’s compensation practices result in its employees making less than minimum wage and violate federal wage and hour law.
Even though an employer may label certain workers as independent contractors, the determination of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is based on a multi-factor test that generally hinges on the degree of control that the employer has over its the workers. If an employer classifies its workers as independent contractors, but they satisfy the definition of “employee” under wage and hour law, the employees may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for back wages, overtime, and any employee benefits that the employer provides.