A Georgia federal court has determined that a group of exotic dancers who
are suing a strip club for alleged wage-and-hour violation are employees
under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rather than independent contractors.
In this wage and hour case the court reviewed the dancers claims, specifically
that the strip club allegedly violated federal labor laws, by failing
to pay exotic dancers denying minimum wage or overtime pay and forcing
them to pay “kick-backs” to work. According to the complaint
the dancers were only paid by tips received from customers, and often
worked more than 40 hours in a week. The lawsuit states: “Defendants
knew, or showed reckless disregard for the fact that they misclassified
these individuals as independent contractors, and accordingly failed to
pay these individuals the minimum wage and failed to pay overtime at the
required rate under the FLSA.”
Wage and hour lawsuits based on “misclassifications” –
i.e. categorizing a worker as an independent contractor v. an employee
– are frequent. If you have questions about your classification
or believe that you have been improperly categorized as an independent
contractor it is important to consult with a highly experienced
Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away.
Factors to be examined in distinguishing between ‘independent contractor’
versus ’employee’ include the degree of control exercised
by the alleged employer, degree to which the employee’s income is
determined by the employer, and permanency of the relationship. Such lawsuits
arise in numerous work place situations, from the entertainment industry
to consulting arrangements, to salespersons and pharmaceutical reps.
Here, according to the lawsuit the dancers work hours, time and manner
of dancing, attire and customer interaction with customers was regulated
by the owners, and dancers were required to attend meetings at the club
without being paid for their time there. Based on these factors, the court
determined that the dancers were employees and should be compensated as such.
For more information or if you believe you may have been misclassified,
please contact the top
Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.