Strippers & Exotic Dancers: Independent Contractors or Employees?

Answering the issue of whether strippers and exotic dancers are independent contractors or employees, in a case entitled Thompson v. House, Inc., the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that exotic dancers in a Washington, DC gentleman’s club were employees and not independent contractors. The judge ruled that the gentleman's club did control the activities of the dancers sufficiently to evidence an employee/employer relationship.

The dancers were paid by the hour, earned $30-50 per hour and usually worked four shifts of ten hours per week.  The club also maintained a number of work rules and forced the dancers to pay the club and the disc jockey.  The dancers were also penalized for calling in sick or being tardy.  These are all evidence of “control,” which cuts against independent contractor status.

There have been a number of similar lawsuits under the FLSA and virtually all of them have resulted in findings of employee status for the strippers.   If you believe that you are being improperly classified as an independent contractor, please contact us.  We can help.