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Manhattan Strippers Owed over 10 Million Dollars
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Strippers in New York may win over $10 million in a class action suit against Rick's Cabaret.

Strippers in New York may win over $10 million in a class action suit against Rick’s Cabaret.

Summary: A federal judge in New York has ruled that close to 2,000 strippers are owed at least $10 million in back pay from a Manhattan strip club.

According to the New York times, roughly 1,900 strippers filed a class action lawsuit against Rick’s Cabaret, a strip club located in Midtown Manhattan, alleging that they were not paid hourly wages. On Friday, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the federal Southern District of New York ruled that over $10 million in back pay was owed to the dancers.

  
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Last year, Judge Engelmayer determined that the strip club treated the strippers as its employees, and that the dancers should have earned at least minimum wage for their shifts.

Click here to read about a man who called 911 when a stripper would not prostitute herself.

A class action suit was filed on behalf of the strippers, which sought at least $18.8 million in compensation. On Friday, Judge Engelmayer also ruled that Rick’s must pay at least $10.8 million depending on the outcome of next year’s trial. This compensation includes wages that Rick’s failed to pay the dancers, as well as fees the judge felt were unfairly taken from the dancers. Any award will be split among the 1,900-member class.

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The class is comprised of every stripper who danced at Rick’s Cabaret from its opening in 2005 through late 2012. E. Michelle Drake, a Minneapolis attorney with Nichols Kaster, who is representing the dancers, explained that Rick’s used fingerprint scanners that clocked the exact time that many of the dancers spent at the club. This technology, she stated, will serve as indisputable evidence of the dancers’ hours. “This is the beginning of a much larger number for them,” she added.

Click here to read about a group of strippers who formed a crime ring.

RCI Hospitality Holdings, based in Houston, operates the strip club. In a statement posted on its website, it said it was “disappointed” with Judge Engelmayer’s ruling, and that it would “appeal this ruling once a final judgment is rendered in this case after trial.” The company had argued that the strippers were not employees of Rick’s, but instead were independent contractors who were provided a venue by Rick’s.

Here is a story about another suit that was filed by dancers after the one in the present article.

According to the order, a “lap dance” or a “table dance” cost $20. If a patron paid cash for the dance, then the dancer was allowed to keep it. However, if a patron provided a $24 voucher for the dance, which was paid by credit card, the dancer received $18 of the fee, and Rick’s kept the rest, unbeknownst to Rick’s customers. Close to 1.8 million of these vouchers were redeemed in the seven-year time period being examined by the suit.

Photo credit: nydailynews.com



 

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