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The Florida Supreme Court recently handed down its ruling regarding the utilization of cell phone information by law enforcement to perform real time tracking of an individual's cell phone. In 2007, law enforcement received a tip about a large amount of narcotics moving through Broward County to Florida's west coast. Officers obtained a court Order authorizing the installation of a "pen register" and "trap and trace device" as to the Defendant's cell phone. A "pen register" records the telephone numbers dialed by the target phone while a "trap and trace device" records the telephone numbers of incoming calls. Law enforcement then used this information provided by the cell service provider, which also included real time cell site location information given off by cell phones when calls are placed to monitor the Defendant's location in real time. In a 5-2 opinion, the majority held that the use of such cell site location information to track a person's movements, without having first demonstrated probable cause and secured a warrant, is a violation of the Fourth Amendment and constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure. The Court determined that a reasonable expectation of privacy of location as signaled by one's cell phone--even when on public roads--existed and is an expectation of privacy that society is prepared to recognize.
For Chief Justice Jorge Labarga's full opinion, click here: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2014/sc11-2254.pdf
Exotic dancers in Georgia are the latest group of women in the industry to prevail in their claim for fair labor practices. In his 13 page opinion, U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. determined that these women were in fact “employees” rather than independent contractors based on the amount of control that club owners exerted over them. The owners at Pin-Ups had instituted several fees that it required dancers to pay: a house fee that was due on arrival to cover the dancer’s own shift, a DJ fee, and a house mom fee.
A preliminary settlement was reached between a group of NY dancers and NY club owners in a lawsuit claiming unfair labor practices. $8 million is set to be paid to dancers who worked at the clubs from 2009 through 2013. The settlement money is meant to compensate dancers for years of unpaid wages and tips that club owners illegally withheld.
The Kansas Supreme Court held that exotic dancers in strip clubs are employees and NOT independent contractors. This ruling stems from a lawsuit brought by a former dancer for unemployment benefits. Although the dancers earned plenty of money via tips, a large portion of it went back to the club to pay for “rent[ing] space” to perform and penalty fees for failure to adhere to house rules.
In November of 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips approved a settlement in a lawsuit brought by exotic dancers against their club owners. The suit was brought against the world-famous Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club in Los Angeles and claimed that these women were being illegally classified as independent contractors for the purpose of denying them fair wages and benefits. Dancers at the club were forced to pay exorbitant fees (to the club, DJs, and “house moms”) and subjected to penalties for missing shifts and for failing to get enough customers to purchase drinks.