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Exotic dancers win millions–and could take home even more

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Dancers at Rick’s Cabaret, a strip club in Midtown Manhattan, just collected more than $10 million following a federal court ruling, and could make even more if an ongoing lawsuit continues to go their way.

A federal judge in November ruled that Rick’s shortchanged exotic dancers working at the club when it sold $24 books of “Dancer Dollars” to patrons. The club deducted $2 out of each booklet without informing patrons of the practice. The club also charged a $4 service fee on each purchase. That meant for each booklet sold, dancers only received $18.

The court ruled the dancers should have received the $2 as a gratuity. Patrons have the option of paying the dancers directly, in which case, the dancers get to keep the entire amount the patron pays. The judge noted that neither the service fee nor the $2 deductions showed up on club books.

More than 2,000 current or former dancers could gain shares of the $10.8 million award under a formula that has yet to be set. Their class-action lawsuit continues in federal court, with another $9 million worth of claims yet to be litigated.

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