CHARLESTON — A federal judge hearing an unpaid overtime lawsuit brought by two former exotic dancers recently entered a stay in the case to allow the two sides to enter mediation in an attempt to resolve the claim and avoid a lengthy trial. The claim, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia, claims the defendant and owner of the Southern Exposure exotic dance club failed to pay the named plaintiffs and others all their due pay, including overtime wages.
The 60-day stay gives both sides the chance to work with a mediator, usually a retired judge or experienced attorney, and hopefully come to an agreement and help the plaintiffs recoup their lost wages. Either party can request the judge lift the stay and continue with the litigation process, but the move is a positive sign the two sides are working to resolve the issue.
The plaintiff’s lawsuit claims the defendant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay her for all work performed in the defendant’s various locations, including overtime wages. Additionally, the defendant allegedly failed to keep accurate payroll records that include all of the hours worked and wages earned by the plaintiff and other performers.
Am I an Independent Contractor or an Employee?
The lawsuit in this case is not an isolated incident as more and more performers at exotic dance clubs begin to take issue with their employer’s practices of classifying dancers as “independent contractors” as opposed to traditional employees. Under the FLSA, independent contractors do not count as employees and are therefore not subject to the overtime wages that traditional workers enjoy.
However, independent contractors must meet certain criteria under the IRS 20-factor independent contractor test to determine whether these individuals meet the classification. Often times, employers simply classify workers as contractors to avoid paying benefits and overtime wages but still exercise the same level of control and supervision over these individuals as traditional workers.
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 believe 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.