Stripper Suit: PT's Clubs Respond to Lawsuit Demanding Wages for Exotic Dancers

electricnerve via flickr
Strippers on the East Side are suing over their wages.
VCG Holdings Corp., the company behind the PT's chain of strip clubs, says it will fight back in a lawsuit filed by two exotic dancers who say clubs cheated them out of wages by classifying them as "independent contractors," not employees.

The plaintiffs -- two strippers from Missouri named Brandy Apple and Amanda Sheer -- say in the class action suit that the clubs threatened retaliation on any of the about 300 dancers who wanted to change to full employees. The women also say their tips from table dances, lap dances and their other sexy services were unfairly taken from them -- first in a required tip split, then in an additional $1-per-song "tip-out" to managers, bartenders, bouncers and other employees.

Brad Shafer, the Shafer & Associates lawyer representing VCG Holdings, rejects the idea that the clubs' business model nefariously cheated the dancers out of their money. He says the strip clubs' contracts with entertainers were based on chair leases, where hairdressers rent a station at a hair salon but maintain independence over their work.

"This is a legal business relationship," Shafer tells Daily RFT. "This is not some type of sham transaction or sham structure."

See also: Strippers' Lawsuit Against PT's Clubs Makes Exotic Dancing Sound Like the Worst Job Ever

Some of VCG Holdings' clubs in other states hire dancers as employees, but Shafer says if the strippers crunched the numbers, they'd realize they are better off financially staying independent contractors.

"There are a number of clubs that have had dancers as independent contractors and converted them to employees, and the dancers were so incensed that they went back to classifying them as independent contractors," Shafer says. "When they see what it is really like to be an employee, a true employee under all the laws applicable, the dancers understand it's far more advantageous to them, particularly financially, to operate as an independent contractor instead of as an employee."

See how being a stripping independent contractor is different than being a stripping employee on the next page.

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James Madison
James Madison

The dancers are claiming no special skill is required to do their jobs. Their lawyers are obligated to not allow their clients to perjure themselves.

Tessa Smith
Tessa Smith

Stick to your lawsuit ladies. This company is lying and you have the power to prove that. They FORCE you to pay money to charities that THEY get tax right-offs for, they FORCE everything. The NERVE of them to even suggest that if you tip the bartenders/DJs/bouncers/etc. you'll get better service from them is BS like everything else they are saying. It is not your job to pay their employees, and if you need any help PROVING your case, I'd be more than happy to be a witness, as I have worked for them from 1986-1997 then again in 08.When "those" people say it's better to not be an employee, that's another LIE. And ya know why, because THEY are saying it. Whatever comes out of their mouths just do the opposite and you will be doing the right thing for you, as opposed to them. While I have many fond memories and have enjoyed working for several people under this company [Hal Lowrie was a personal friend of mine} the company has gone full blown republican capitalism corrupt since the owners death, and that has been a long long time. STAND YOUR GROUND! The reason that you can and will win this suit {IF you get an UNPAID judge-Good LUCK WITH THAT} is because you will be right and they will be wrong. Take it to a federal level, they won't have a chance. Trust me, I know, because they KNOW they are doing wrong, illegal wrong!

Jimmy Jones
Jimmy Jones

These kinds of suits have been filed all over the country in the last three-four years. They've mostly been successful. When the economy went bad in 2009, most of the upper middle class men who feed these clubs had their credit lines cut back, and that in turn drastically reduced the number of people using these clubs.

Pun N. Tended
Pun N. Tended

And in other news babies are crawling at an alarming rate leading to rug burnt knees. You're strippers. The real money is in porn dummies.

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