Exotic dancers at the Penthouse Executive Club in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood are suing in Manhattan federal court, claiming their bosses have been raiding the tip box, pilfering money that rightfully belongs to the dancers.
Patrons of the club pay a 20% premium to purchase “Executive Bucks” they can use to tip dancers. The dancers claim that the establishment’s owners help themselves to some of the tip money when the Executive Bucks are redeemed at the end of the night.
They allege the owners sometimes took so much money that some dancers’ pay fell below the minimum wage.
The owners will now have to explain the alleged pay and tip discrepancies to the court.
Note: A surprising number of lawsuits involve disagreements over tip sharing—and state and federal departments of labor generally side with employees in those cases. Tip-sharing systems are fine, as long as the tips don’t go to or ownership.
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