Myrtle Beach area woman's lawsuit says dancers deserve minimum wage, overtime pay

Published: Aug. 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2013 at 7:51 PM EDT
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( - Strip club dancers should be entitled to earn minimum wage, overtime compensation and other privileges for their services, according to a recently filed federal lawsuit.

Alexis Degidio filed the suit Aug. 8 at the federal courthouse in Florence. She names her employer Thee New Dollhouse, formerly the Crazy Horse, as the defendant.

The suit says the club considers dancers independent contractors and not paid employees.

"Over the past two decades, the United States of Labor and courts across the country have recognized that dancers are employees, not independent contractors, and, accordingly, are entitled to protection under various state and federal wage and hour laws," the suit states.

Club management couldn't be reached for comment as of this posting.

According to the suit, Degidio says the club charges "house fees" ranging from $25 to $100 per shift.

The suit also states that dancers must pay the club a portion of what they earn doing lap dances. The portion is calculated at $10 for one $30 song and $50 for a $300 30-minute private dance, according to the suit.

Degidio also states in the suit that dancers are subject to mandatory "tip-outs," in which dancers must give a portion of their tips to the club's "house mom," the DJ and valet attendant.

The suit also says dancer tip money is used to offset the business' expenses.

"As a result of the  mandatory house fees and required tip-outs, dancers sometimes receive little to no actual compensation despite hours of work," the suit states.

Degidio states in court papers that dancers are entitled to receive minimum wages and be paid for overtime, and that federal law allows employees to keep their tips.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring the club from "engaging in each of the unlawful practices, polices and patterns set forth herein."

It also seeks an award of unpaid minimum wages and overtime wages to Degidio and other dancers at the club. along with attorneys fees and other relief deemed proper by the court.