City’s work permit fee for strip club workers challenged

A lawsuit has been filed claiming that strip club workers are being charged an excessive and unconstitutional fee to work in the city of Atlanta.

The lawsuit states that the city charges employees of adult entertainment clubs $375 for a one-year work permit and an annual renewal fee of $350.

Those fees exceed what’s required under city code: a $50 application fee, $300 permit fee and $100 annual renewal fee, the lawsuit alleges.

It also contends that workers at other establishments where alcohol is served are not subject to the work permit fee, fingerprinting and “subjective” background checks required of employees at adult entertainment clubs serving alcohol.

“The city’s permit scheme is unconstitutional, and its associated fees are unlawful and improper,” Atlanta attorney Cary S. Wiggins wrote in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in Fulton County Superior Court on behalf of six people who work at licensed adult entertainment establishments as a bartender, floor manager, manager and performers.

It asks the judge to force the city to reduce the permit fee and refund past permit fees to all adult entertainment club employees, not just those filing the lawsuit.

Melissa Mullinax, a city spokeswoman, said the city doesn’t comment on pending litigation.