Court certifies exotic dancer suit as class action

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Anyone who danced in the past three years at one Indianapolis strip club embroiled in a lawsuit over minimum wage may be able to collect on unpaid wages, ruled a District Court judge Wednesday.

Southern District Judge William Lawrence granted a motion for notice to potential plaintiffs and certified the matter as a collective action in Wendi R. Morse and Felicia Kay Pennington, individually, and on behalf of others similarly situated v. M E R Corp. d/b/a Dancers Showclub, No. 1:08-cv-1389.

Dancers Wendi R. Morse and Felicia Kay Pennington filed the suit in October 2008 alleging the club failed to pay them and others similarly situated in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. They no longer worked at the club when they filed the suit but had worked there within the past three years.

The plaintiffs argued Dancers Showclub incorrectly classified dancers as independent contractors instead of employees and failed to pay them minimum wage. The suit also claims Dancers Showclub required the women to pay a percentage of their tips to the club and other employees who don't customarily receive tips, violating 29 U.S.C. Section 203(m).

Dancers don't receive any wages or other compensation from the club and they aren't allowed to dance at any other exotic clubs while working at Dancers Showclub. The suit also states the club sets the hours, shifts, and minimum tips the dancers are required to get each shift.

The plaintiffs want the club to repay back wages in addition to wages equal to the amount they had to tip-out to the club and other employees, as well as liquidated damages equal in amount to the unpaid compensation and tips found due to the dancers.

Judge Lawrence certified the suit as a collective action, ordering Dancers Showclub to produce the names and other employee information of all the current and former dancers at the club from the previous three years as of the date of the order. The judge ordered Dancers Showclub to produce the information by Jan. 18 and required the notice to potential plaintiffs and consent to join form be mailed within 7 days from that date. Potential plaintiffs have 60 days from that point to opt-in the litigation.


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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues