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

"The scope of the dancer's initiative is restricted to decisions involving what clothes to wear...or how provocatively to dance."
The club gets away with paying strippers in tips instead of a wage by classifying the women as "independent contractors," but the lawsuit says the women have none of the power a contractor would have, such as influence over the program, atmosphere, marketing or business model of the clubs:

[Club owners] set the hours of operation; length of shifts dancers must work; the show times during which a dancer may perform; minimum table dance tips; determine the sequence in which a dancer may perform on stage during her stage rotation; the format and themes of dancer's performances (including their costuming and appearances); theme nights; conduct while at work (i.e., that they be on the floor as much as possible when not on stage and mingle with patrons in a manner which supports [the club's] general business plan; pay tip splits; pay "tip-outs" to managers, doormen and other employees who do not normally receive tips from patrons; and all other terms and conditions of employment.

The club could possibly claim that the dancers are "artists" and therefore are exempt from laws about minimum wage, but the lawsuit makes it quite clear that there's nothing artistic about a stripper's job:

"The exotic dancing performed by [the dancers] while working at the nightclubs does not require invention, imagination or talent in a recognized field of artistic endeavor," the lawsuit says. "Prior dance experience is not required to perform at the nightclubs. Dancers are not required to attain a certain level of skill in order to work at the nightclubs. There are no dance seminars, no specialized training, no instruction booklets, and no choreography provided or required in order to work at any of the nightclubs."

See also: Stripper Kicks Man in Mouth, Prompting Lawsuit

"The scope of the dancer's initiative is restricted to decisions involving what clothes to wear (within [the club's] guidelines) or how provocatively to dance," the lawsuit says.
When strippers are late, absent or leave early, they are fined or given another penalty, according to the suit. They're also required to sell a minimum number of drink tickets per shift.

Between 20 and 40 women work at one of PT's clubs on a given day, according to the suit.

VGC Holding Corp. is based in Colorado and owns clubs in Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, Minnesota, Kentucky, Maine, Florida, and California.

Continue reading to see the lawsuit.

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