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Class Certified For Exotic Dancer Overtime Pay Case

LOS ANGELES — A class of hundreds of exotic dancers at VIP Showgirls Gentlemen’s Club in Los Angeles that filed a wage claim against the company has been certified by a California state court. The class claimed that the company illegally considered them to be independent contractors instead of employees. The court ruled that the dancers can be treated as a class since the dancers are subject to a common job policy. Additionally, the court will use the California Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders to determine whether the dancers are employees or independent contractors rather than using a common law test. The class could include between 300 to 500 dancers.

California Independent Contractors

The Showgirls Gentlemen’s Club considered its dancers to be independent contractors. According to the lawsuit, the dancers were considered as such to deprive them of a minimum wage, overtime fees, and rest and meal breaks. The company also allegedly withheld wages from the dancers in the form of “stage fees.” Under the wage orders, an employer is any person who directly or indirectly, or through an agent or any other person, employs or exercises control over the wages, hours, or working conditions of any person.

If workers are classified as independent contractors, employers are not required to pay payroll taxes, pay minimum wage or overtime, provide meal periods and rest breaks, or reimburse their workers for business expenses incurred in performing their jobs. Employers also do not have to cover independent contractors under workers’ compensation insurance, and are not liable for payments under unemployment insurance, disability insurance, or social security.

“Stage Fees” Wage Deductions

Under California state law, an employer can only lawfully withhold amounts from an employee’s wages when required or empowered to do so by state or federal law, or when a deduction is expressly authorized in writing by the employee to cover insurance premiums, benefit plan contributions, or other deductions not amounting to a rebate on the employee’s wages.  Additionally, deductions may be permitted when it is meant to cover health, welfare, or pension contributions is expressly authorized by a wage or collective bargaining agreement.

Determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee is a complex inquiry that involves multiple factors, depending on the applicable state or federal law. If you or someone you know is misclassified as an independent contractor and, therefore, is entitled to minimum wage and overtime, you should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.

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