ILNews

Court certifies exotic dancer suit as class action

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

ADVERTISEMENT