“Strippers fight for back pay”

The exotic dancers’ lawsuit against Anchorage strip clubs Fantasies on 5th Avenue and Crazy Horse cites the Alaska Wage and Hour Act and seeks class-action status. Key quote: “This isn’t about how much money I make in tips,” said dancer Jennifer Prater. “This is about wage and hour laws.” A 1987 Alaska Supreme Court ruling rejected clubs’ contention that the dancers were independent contractors as opposed to employees. (Megan Holland, Anchorage Daily News, Sept. 6).

5 Comments

  • I read the Anchorage Daily News article and this actually seems like a legitimate case. I hope it isn’t a news flash to anyone that exotic dancers have the same rights as other employees.

  • Agreed that there is no sign the suit is anything less than well-founded under the current state of Alaska wage law. (I should reiterate for new readers that the appearance of a case in these columns does not imply that it lacks legal merit; we can and routinely do discuss cases that are interesting for other reasons).

    The flagged sentence in the story raises suspicions that this is a case where the complainant made a handsome (perhaps very handsome) income from tips on good nights. As with the stockbroker-overtime suits lately in the news, that should raise questions of whether it makes policy sense to override market forces by way of paternalistic wage-hour laws for the benefit of workers who already secure high compensation. If not, that’s a reason for legislators to revisit those laws in the future.

  • On the basis of my own in-depth investigation and analysis, the better mens’ entertainment venues have succeeded in structuring legitimate independent contract relationships with their entertainers. At one such establishment, located in Tampa FL, the dancers make between $200k and $350k a year.

    If this club failed to take due note of the tried and true rules for distinguishing between employee and independent contractor, they pay the price for their lack of vigilance.

    But I can hardly regard the cash that a dancer makes as a “tip.”

  • Anytime one has to work for money on a day to day basis, you have good days and bad days. When a person obides by the law exactly as they should, your numbers are significantly less than that listed above. Extravigant numbers are not an exaggeration, however there are very bad days and it would be helpful if those were compensated for.

  • […]   Of course, Overlawyered has chronicled lawsuits like this before — previous a group of strippers also claimed that they were not independent contractors.   (You can read more about the claims and download the lawsuit directly at my site […]