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Lawsuit Claims Wisconsin Strip Club Misclassifies Dancers
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Summary: A new lawsuit may challenge the way strip clubs classify dancers in Wisconsin. 

The glamour of a stripper making tons of dough is often nothing but an illusion. In real life, dancers are often underpaid, due to a myriad of industry standard fees, which some say are actually illegal.

  
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While some states such as Massachusetts have already changed the way strip clubs pay their entertainment, Wisconsin clubs are still charging strippers upfront fees and taking a cut of their tips. A recent lawsuit filed against one club in Peshtigo hopes to challenge these state-wide practices.

According to USA Today, Krista Pecor filed a class action lawsuit against Northpoint Exotic Dance Club. She said that it and its owners, David Nichols and Billie Jo Ransom, violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage laws by claiming the dancers were independent contractors, but treating them like employees.

The lawsuit claims that the dancers were misclassified, and that they were owed minimum wage and overtime.

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According to Pecor’s complaint, dancers had to pay Northpoint $10 each night to enter, and that the club took half of their lap dance money. She said that the club withheld the girls’ earnings until the end of the week, and that they would not be paid out unless the dancer performed at least four lap dances a night. The suit claimed that if the girl did not meet the lap dance minimum, the club would keep all of her earnings. Additionally, dancers had to pay house fees, bartender tip-outs, and $50 penalties if the dancer was late or left early.

The shifts and strict rules were evidence that the dancers were employees, Pecor said. The club also told dancers what they could wear, what they could charge, and how they could interact with customers.



While the club and Pecor’s lawyers did not comment to USA Today, the dancers have a good shot of winning based on precedents set in other states. In Maryland, a federal appeals court upheld a $265,000 dancer award, and in Dallas, a group of dancers won $2.3 million at an all-nude club.

Pecor is represented by La Crosse law firm.

Source: USA Today

Stock photo courtesy of Vice



 

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