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.