An Atlanta stripper has filed a lawsuit against the strip club where she worked after she was fired being pregnant.
Amanda Berry and fellow dancer A’Cire Newby joined forces to sue Atlanta’s Pin Ups Strip Club in federal court, claiming it violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
The lawsuit, which was filed earlier this month, claims that The Great American Dream Inc (Pin Ups owners) misclassified Newby and Berry as independent contractors rather than employees, paying them only gratuities from customers and not minimum wage or overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a week.
According to the AJC, the lawsuit filed by the two ladies also claims that club management regulated all aspects of their work including hours, time and manner of dancing, attire, and how they interacted with customers.
It also says club managers fined dancers for arriving late, if they didn’t appear onstage when their names were called, or if they weren’t dressed and ready on the club floor within 30 minutes of arriving.
And management demanded daily fees from $35 to $95, including “bar fees,” “DJ fees,” “breathalyzer test fees,” “leave early fees” and even “slow day fees,” the lawsuit claims.
Berry claims that last February she was unlawfully terminated when a manger learned she was pregnant. According to legal documents, the club manager told a subordinate to “put (Berry) in the book since this is her last day to work.”
University of Georgia law professor Ronald Carlson explained how the strippers will likely have an uphill battle with their case,
“These very interesting claims will turn on whether dancers Berry and Newby can convince a judge that they were ‘employees.’ Cutting in their favor is the fact that the club established parameters for their conduct, including fines for late arrival and regulation of attire. This suggests a lack of independent status on the dancer’s part.”
Pin Ups management, however may have strong arguments against the dancers, he said.
“One of those will be that the fact that no wages were ever paid,” Carlson said. “To the average citizen, if a company is not paying you a salary, you are not an employee.”
According to court documents in that case, U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story ruled that the dancers were in fact “employees”, while noting “Onyx does not pay any wages to the entertainers.” Club owners settled last year with 73 past and current entertainers, awarding the Onyx dancers $1.55 million, or roughly $21,233 per dancer.
Who knows… maybe these two ladies could be the catalyst to creating a fair economic environment for all the strippers they left behind.
What do you think of the stripper’s ‘unlawful termination’ claims?
Do they have a case?