Two former strippers are foisting a $10 million dollar lawsuit at three Manhattan strip clubs. The class-action suit, filed Tuesday in Manhattan Federal Courts, claimed the two strippers, Melody Flynn and Martina Antoinette de Truff, were hired in as “independent contractors,” though they were not treated as such. Instead, their behavior was “micromanaged.” Since they were not in fact independent contractors, they are due back pay. They only pay they received was tips from customers, they were given no minimum wages.
The women worked at Private Eyes, New York Dolls, and Flashdancers. They made the decision to sue after a judged determined that Rick’s Cabaret, a “gentleman’s” club, was wrong in denying minimum wage to 2,000 strippers.
The lawyers of the suit could land 1,000 strippers more than $10 million in back wages dating from 2007.
Receiving tips in the form of tucked 1-dollar-bills isn’t enough, it seems, and establishing a minimum wage standard for the industry was the decision of Judge Engelmayer.
“It is hard to imagine how these entertainers should be paid at the minimum wage, which would amount to a fraction of the $1,000 or more that some of them acknowledged they earned in a single night,” said Rick’s Cabaret International chief executive officer Eric Langan . “Additionally, the court did not rule on the issue of whether the substantial amounts entertainers earned are wages under New York State Labor Law.”
Whether strippers have been cheated or are in fact inordinately greedy may depend on who you ask, but since the Judge made the decision that strippers aren’t independent contractors, naturally the booty shakers want their shake of that cash.