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Exotic dancers reach $8 million settlement with gentlemen’s club over alleged wage and hour violations

Lawsuit alleged the club failed to pay minimum wage and misclassified dancers as independent contractors

Workers at a New York City gentlemen’s club are dancing all the way to the bank after an $8 million preliminary settlement over alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and N.Y. labor law.

In a lawsuit filed in 2009, Stephanie Carattini and Nicole Hughes accused the Penthouse Executive Club of misclassifying its dancers as independent contractors, denying them minimum wage and overtime and keeping part of the tips they received from clients. Another dancer filed a similar lawsuit against the club in 2010, and the court consolidated the two cases.

But the club countersued, saying the dancers were not really ideal employees and had unjustly enriched themselves by dancing at rival clubs and not reporting some tips, among other “non-employee” behaviors.

The settlement gives each of the 1,245 dancers involved in the suit a minimum of $3,727.79 for their first year working, and $988.13 for subsequent years.

This suit is just the latest in a recent uptick of suits brought by exotic dancers alleging unpaid tips and minimum wage violations. In July 2012, dancers in Atlanta received $1.55 million in a similar settlement.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


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