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Exotic Dancers Sue Over Wage and OT Violations

HOUSTON- Two exotic dancers have filed a lawsuit against a chain of Texas strip clubs, claiming that they failed to pay both minimum wage and overtime.

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The lawsuit alleges that XTC Cabaret and Rick’s Cabaret misclassify their dancers as independent contractors rather than as employees. Maylene Valasco and Megan Jenkins, who filed the lawsuit, allege that the club owners violated federal wage and hour laws with their policies.

The defendants’ lawyer in the case, Don Foty, stated that the clubs do not pay their dancers, who typically work eight-hour shifts. In fact, the opposite is true: The dancers have to pay the clubs for the opportunity to perform at rates that range from $20 to $100 per shift.

The lawsuit claims that dancers work solely for tips and that the clubs require them to share the tip money with DJ’s, managers and others.

Foty estimates that once the dancers pay the clubs their dancing fee, pay fines, and split their tips, they usually end up earning less than $7.25 an hour, which is minimum wage. Not only that, but they do not earn time and one-half pay for weeks where they work more than 40 hours.

The lawsuit goes further to claim that dancers are employees due to the nature of their work. They are required to fill out an employment application, their shifts are determined by the clubs, their rates are determined by the clubs, and their clothes and makeup are also determined by the clubs.

The dancers are seeking back wages, including $2.13 per hour that employers must pay tipped employees.


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