A stripper has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Peoria, Illinois, alleging that a Gentleman’s Club where she performed violated federal and state employment law by failing to pay her and other exotic dancers minimum wage. The lawsuit alleges that the club misclassified her and other dancers as independent contractors instead of employees to avoid minimum wage and other employment law requirements. Whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor depends mostly on the degree of control that the company exercises over the individual’s work. The dancer alleges that she was actually an employee because the club controlled the terms and conditions of her work environment though various workplace rules, such as no gum chewing while performing, always smile at customers while performing, etc.
The lawsuit claims back pay and other damages for the alleged violations of federal and state labor and employment laws. The dancer is attempting to expand the lawsuit into a class action with other exotic dancers potentially joining the suit as additional plaintiffs. Stay tuned to see if this unique employment lawsuit takes center stage.