Dancers at an Atlanta strip club claim they have been underpaid and in some cases worked without pay in violation of federal labor law, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Plaintiffs Brittany Thompson, Jennifer Hight, Katherine Bellows and Danielle McElroy accuse the owners of Diamond Club on Northside Drive of refusing to pay them for work they have done even though they say they are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The suit also names Chief Executive Officer C.B. Jones and Chief Financial Officer Karen Kirk as defendants, but a person answering the phone at the Diamond Club on Thursday said neither is still with the club. Efforts to reach the club for comment were unsuccessful.
It is the latest of several similar suits filed in federal court by nude dancers over underpayment or nonpayment of wages.
The women seek unpaid wages, interest, attorney’s fees and costs. They also seek class-action status to cover about 200 more current and former dancers at the club over the past three years.
The plaintiffs, some of whom have worked at the club since 2009, said their job was to perform as nude dancers and provide other entertainment to customers. They claim the club has classified them as independent contractors, enabling management to pay less.
The suit contends the dancers are treated as employees. Among other things, they are required to work at least three days a week, their costumes and performances are controlled by management, and are required to take to breathalyzer tests.
The plaintiffs say they have to pay assessments including a “house fee” per shift worked, a “DJ fee” of 10 percent of tips, a manager fee, VIP sales fees, credit card fees, and late-arrival and early-leave fees. Their suit also accuses Diamond of “failing to provide proper time for required lunch and rest breaks.”
Last month, a federal judge ruled Pin Ups, a DeKalb County strip club sued by its dancers, owed its survival to its dancers and deemed the entertainers to be employees.
Last month, three exotic dancers sued Tattletale Lounge on Piedmont Road and its owners , alleging the club “required their employees to pay for the privilege of working.” The suit seeks to cover about 250 other dancers.
Pin Ups was sued last October, the same month Pleasers in southwest Atlanta was sued in federal court over similar allegations claiming nonpayment of wages for services rendered.
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