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Los Angeles Law Blog

By stephen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Dancer Rights on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
U.S. District Court Judge Rules in Favor of Kristensen LLP Client – Dancers Are NOT Independent Contractors

February 12, 2021 – Tampa, Florida

 

On Friday, February 12, 2021, United States District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington ruled that, “within the meaning of the FLSA,” that Kristensen LLP’s client, “Kristin”, was an employee of the gentlemen’s club at which she was employed.

 

The case was brought by Kristensen LLP on behalf of Kristin, a dancer, against the gentlemen’s club in the United States District Court of the Middle District of Florida – Tampa Division. The nature of the case confronted the issue of whether or not dancers should be considered employees or independent contractors.

 

The ruling made by U.S. District Judge Hernandez Covington classifies the Plaintiff as an employee of the club instead of an independent contractor, relying on the meaning of “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

The ruling also opens the door for damages, for which the case will go to trial at the beginning of this upcoming March. 

 

Cases like this – labor disputes – are common in the “gig industry”. Especially between exotic dancers and gentlemen’s clubs, where dancers are often pressured into signing on as independent contractors, and taken advantage of by clubs.

 

As independent contractors, dancers are subjected to unfair labor conditions and compensation. Often, dancers are financially exploited, where their labor classification causes dancers to lose out on wages and tips, and shifts the burden of state and federal income taxes from the clubs onto the dancers.

 

Courts are slowly but surely beginning to side with dancers in such labor disputes. Cases such as this serve to show that anyone in the gig industry may be entitled to damages and other financial compensation from their employer, or former employer. Kristensen LLP has successfully protected dancers and other parties in labor disputes, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages for clients, and this case will be no different. 

 

If you or someone you know has been misclassified as a laborer in the gig industry, call Kristensen LLP for a consultation immediately! We will fight for your rights in court, and make sure that you receive the money that you’re entitled to.