MIAMI — A pair of former exotic dancers at a Miami gentleman’s club recently filed an unpaid overtime lawsuit in a Miami-Dade County court against their old employer alleging that the defendant committed wage fraud and improperly classified them as independent contractors. The suit marks the latest in a growing trend of similarly affected entertainers taking issue with their status as independent contractors, rather than traditional employees.
The plaintiffs’ unpaid overtime lawsuit claims while working at Tootsie’s they were never paid overtime, much less minimum wage. While the defendant classified them and other dancers at the club as independent contractors, the plaintiffs claim employment practices made them de facto employees and therefore eligible for overtime.
For starters, the dancers had to audition for roles at the club, making it essentially an interview for the position. Second, they had to perform certain duties such as performing table and private dancers, eliminating any semblance of control over their own work practices.
Tip Share Wage Theft
Not only were the plaintiffs denied overtime pay due to their misclassification as independent contractors, they were also forced to tip out the staff and even the club itself from their nightly earnings. Dancers were forced to pay doormen, floor staff, and the DJ out of their tips and were assessed an additional house fee just to work at the club.
Under federal and state wage laws, tip earning employees can be asked to contribute some of their wages to a tip pool to compensate other tip earning employees. However, the income from the tip pool cannot be used to compensate regular hourly employees as part of their wages.
Tip pool fraud is a common form of wage theft in restaurants and other industries where front of house staff earn the majority of their income from tip wages. Employees who suspect they are the victims of wage theft are strongly encouraged to speak to a wage theft and overtime pay lawsuit attorney about their case.
Exotic Dancer Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.