Exotic dancers file lawsuit against three Detroit strip clubs - New York News

Exotic dancers file lawsuit against three Detroit area strip clubs

Posted: Updated:

PRESS RELEASE: October 28, 2013, Royal Oak, Michigan -- A class action lawsuit has been filed in Federal Court in Detroit by three current and former exotic dancers against several Detroit adult night clubs, including The Coliseum, Flight Club and Penthouse Club.

The suit names club owner Alan Markovitz for intentionally misclassifying exotic dancers and other night club employees as independent contractors instead of employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Michigan Minimum Wage Law, refusing to pay statutory minimum wages, unlawfully demanding a portion of gratuities and unlawfully deducting employee wages through rents, fines and penalties.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Megan Bonanni of Pitt McGehee Palmer Rivers & Golden (www.pittlawpc.com), says her clients are seeking an unspecified amount for damages, back pay, restitution, injunctive and declaratory relief and attorneys fees.

"The dancers are bringing this action on behalf of themselves and the other members of the proposed class of night club employees who were intentionally misclassified as independent contractors despite the fact that they were treated as employees. This is an illegal pay scheme designed to increase the nightclub's profit margins at the expense of basic employee rights." said Bonanni.

This class of plaintiffs includes the dancers and nightclub employees such as waitresses, shot girls and others who worked in the Markovitz-owned establishments and were misclassified by the Defendants as independent contractors. In addition to failing to pay employees wages, the night clubs illegally collected a portion of dancers' tips through rents and fines, forcing them to pay "tip-outs" to bouncers, disc jockeys and other club employees.

Co-counsel Kevin Stoops reports that numerous, other adult night clubs throughout the country have illegally classified exotic dancers as independent contractors to avoid paying actual wages, Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance. A recent Federal court ruling in New York ordered adult night club Rick's Cabaret to pay back wages to 1,900 exotic dancers who had worked there during the last three years. Similar lawsuits filed by dancers are pending throughout the country.

Markovitz, who published an autobiography entitled "Topless Prophet," has been involved in the Detroit adult entertainment industry for decades.

In the book, Markovitz writes about his introducing a "new model" in the industry which would have the "…dancers paying the club for the privilege of making an income on the premises, not as hourly wage earners, but as independent contractors." Bonanni says that as evidenced by the number of lawsuits across the country, misclassification of this type became a standard procedure at many of the largest and most successful adult night clubs in the country as a mechanism for the clubs to increase their profit margins.

"Though strip clubs are some of the most common offenders, they are hardly the only industry that exploits the 'independent contractor' classification," said Stoops. He says the U.S. Department of Labor estimates about one-third of all businesses misclassify their employees in this manner.

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:04:50 GMT
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
    The brother-in-law of the Prince of Wales died Wednesday after falling outside a hotel bar and suffering a head injury, police said. Mark Shand, the brother of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby's.
  • Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Deep split in Port Authority over unfinished WTC tower

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:03:40 GMT
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
    Board members of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey revealed a deep split Wednesday over the agency's role in effecting the completion of the long-delayed 3 World Trade Center project, with some commissioners lauding the effort and others expressing grave concerns. The discussion at the monthly board meeting offered a rare glimpse into the negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes in recent months.
  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices