On January 13, 2022, Martin & Martin, filed a federal lawsuit against Onyx Gentlemen’s Club in Atlanta on behalf of several strippers to recover owed wages and fees. Onyx reopened in February, 2021 and classified its dancers as independent contractors as opposed to employees. As independent contractors, Onyx did not pay the dancers any wages whatsoever. Instead, all of the money received by the dancers were from tips from customers. However, this was after the dancers paid a bar/shift fee, tip outs, house mom fees, etc.
Over the course of the last decade, federal courts around the country have found that dancers at strip clubs are employees — not independent contractors. And, they have held that as employees, the dancers are entitled to $7.25 per hour for all hours worked and time and one-half for all overtime hours. The determination of whether an individual is an independent contractor or employee is made on a factual case-by-case basis. However, some specific items that courts look at are: does the company require the workers to follow any work rules? Does the company schedule the worker? Does the company cover the expenses of the club, stage, payment to DJs, security, etc.?
In our recently filed federal lawsuit, on behalf of our clients, we seek to recover $7.25 per hour for all hours work plus liquidated damages (aka double damages) and recovery of all fees paid to the club. We also seek for Onyx to pay our attorney’s fees and expenses. If you are or were a dancer at a club and not paid any wages, contact Martin & Martin to fight for your rights.