Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club in New York has been sued for minimum wage and overtime violations by its dancers, who claim they were misclassified as independent contractors.
The complaint alleges that Hustler Club collects unlawful “rental fees” from dancers for each shift that they work and requires them to pay additional fines if they are unable to work a scheduled shift. The dancers claimed that the club deprives them of their tips by requiring them to share tips with other workers, such as “house moms,” DJs and hair and make up artists who do not provide customer service. In addition, the Hustler Club has a practice of using club scrip called “Beaver Bucks” that customers can buy to use as a form of payment or to tip the dancers with instead of cash. When dancers go to exchange the club scrip for actual cash, however, Hustler retains a portion of the tip value for itself so dancers are not receiving all of their tips.
The lawsuit against the Hustler Club follows a ruling by a New York federal judge in November which awarded nearly $11 million to a class of exotic dancers at Rick’s Cabaret who alleged they were incorrectly classified as independent contractors and failed to receive minimum wage and overtime pay.