Lounge, exotic dancers agree to settle classification lawsuit

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in Employment Law

Lure, a “gentlemen’s club” in Min­ne­­apolis, has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit with its exotic dancers, who claimed they were employees, not independent contractors as Lure had contended.

One-third of the settlement will go to the law firm representing the plaintiffs. Dancers who worked at the club from 2006 to 2010 will split the rest.

Lure’s argument that the dancers were independent contractors foundered on testimony that the women received a packet of instructions upon hire and were fined for disobeying them. In fact, the dancers were not even permitted to choose their own music. Faced with the likelihood of losing in court, the lounge settled.

Note: Courts generally look at “economic realities” to determine whether a worker is an employee or a contractor. One of the keys: How much control does the employer exercise over the worker while performing the work. The more control, the more likely the worker is an employee.

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