Where Them Dollas At? Atlanta Strippers Suing For Unpaid Wages
BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Somewhere in an undisclosed location A Pimp Named Slickback, Dolla Bill and a group of cohorts are up at arms over the latest development that may turn the adult entertainment industry upside down. Atlanta’s adult industry is only made bigger by the amount of professional sports, music and entertainment markets available. Corporate conferences held in the city don’t hurt either, they all are patrons.
An increasing number of strip club dancers are filing lawsuits against their employers, claiming they are owed monies for services performed. In the past several months at least three federal suits have been filed in courts with the latest target in Atlanta being the Diamond Club.
Plaintiffs Brittany Thompson, Jennifer Hight, Katherine Bellows and Danielle McElroy are claiming that the club refused to pay them for the work they have done even though they are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The women are seeking the return of unpaid wages, alleged illegal kickback payments, interest, attorney’s fees and costs along with seeking a class-action status to cover around 200+ current and former dancers who worked at the Diamond Club over the past three years.
The heart of the issue is that the club has the dancers hired as independent contractors but treat them as employees by requiring them to work at least three days a week, having their performances and attire controlled by management and having to pay what they feel are high kickback fees.
These kickback fees include: a “house fee” per shift worked, a “DJ fee” of 10% of tips, 10% of tips received for dancing on stage, a manager fee, VIP sales fees, credit card fees, and late-arrival and early-leave fees.
Also included in the suit are failing to provide proper time for lunch and rest breaks.
The trend is growing in Atlanta as strippers are fighting for their rights as “employees” and upsetting the status-quo business structure of the adult entertainment world. We are talking about big business here and everybody has their hands in everyone’s pockets, including Atlanta itself. In the city of Atlanta, the dancers are required to obtain an Adult Entertainment Permit that have the following fees: fingerprint – $20, processing fee – $50 and the adult entertainment permit – $300.
The adult industry is also getting an influx of workers because of the recent economic downturn which is making the lure of possibly making hundreds of dollars per night more tempting. Like my Grandfather always used to tell me, there is nothing for free and if you read the fine print usually that is where you will find fees.
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