Exotic dancers from Déjà Vu and affiliated gentlemen’s nightclubs run by Cin-Lan, Inc. and Déjà Vu Consulting recently settled with the companies over alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA is a federal law dating back to 1938 that protects employees engaged in interstate commerce with respect to minimum wage concerns, overtime pay, and other workers’ rights issues.
Exotic dancers at the clubs argued that the company wrongfully classified them as independent contractors instead of employees, thereby violating the FLSA, and taking from them the protections and rights under the FLSA. Plaintiffs argued that Déjà Vu and Cin-Lan acted as joint employers and that all of the rent money that the exotic dancers made working at the clubs was sent to Déjà Vu Consulting, who had ultimate authority over the clubs. In addition, plaintiffs also contended that Déjà Vu Consulting acted as an employer by firing dancers and exercising traditional employer authority over the dancers.
The defendants contended that the dancers’ classification as independent contractors was well supported under the law and that the dancers would be forced to repay any money earned if they were re-classified. Ultimately, Déjà Vu and Cin-Lan settled for a total of $11.3 million and dancers will have the option of a one-time payment of $500 cash or $1000 credit towards their end-of-the-night “rent” fee that will be good for one year.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.