Eleven former exotic dancers at San Jose’s Pink Poodle strip club are suing, claiming they were misclassified as independent contractors and thus failed to receive minimum wages and overtime pay. Additionally, they claim the misclassification deprived them of health insurance.
Combined, the dancers had 57 years of experience at the club, an average of more than five years each.
Although some of the dancers claim they made $500,000 or more in tips each year, their lawsuit notes that the club does not pay some dancers at all. In many cases, it alleges, the club demands fees to allow the dancers to perform.
The dancers claim club owners threatened to retaliate against anyone who complained about pay or work conditions.
This case attempts to ride the coattails of two successful exotic-dancer lawsuits in other states—one in New York, and another against the Spearmint Rhino club in Las Vegas.
Note: Regularly examine all independent contractor relationships to ensure they are truly independent. Ideally, include your attorney in this process.