Recently, several cases around the country involving strippers have highlighted a significant issue for workers in all lines of work – whether you should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee. In the latest case, Terry v. Sapphire, the Nevada Supreme Court determined that strippers at a Las Vegas club should be considered employees, not independent contractors. The women had been classified as contractors, which meant that they were denied certain protections the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) guarantees employees, and left them dependent upon tips for income.
The women have now prevailed in this wage and hour lawsuit, and will receive back wages and damages.
If you have questions about whether you are an employee or independent contractor, or any other wage and hour concern, consulting with an experienced Georgia FLSA attorney is a good idea. A knowledgeable wage and hour lawyer can evaluate your circumstance and help determine whether you are receiving all the compensation you are entitled to.
In this instance, the court followed the federal Fair Labor Standards Act “economic realities” test for employment, which takes into consideration several factors concerning the amount of control workers have over their jobs. Here, the dancers did not meet the test for being contractors because they did not set their own hours work independently, or decide how to perform their jobs. While no one particular factor is determinative of how a worker should be classified – the more control an employer has over the way in which a job is performed, how a worker is paid, and other behavioral and financial aspects of a job, the more likely it is that the court will determine a worker is an employee and entitled to the wage and hour benefits set forth in the FLSA.
For more information, or if you believe that you have not been paid all the compensation you deserve, contact the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate consultation.