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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Strip Club Workers File Labor Class Action

LITTLE ROCK (CN) - Employees of an Arkansas strip club say its owners stiffed them for overtime and minimum wages, in a federal class action.

Click here to read Courthouse News' Entertainment Law Digest.

Nicole Collins and six other named plaintiffs say Barney's Barn dba Peaches Gentleman's Club, of Jacksonville, paid no wages at all to exotic dancers, but forced them to pay unlawful sums just to work there.

Employees who did not strip also were paid less than minimum wage, according to the 55-page complaint.

"Defendant paid all waitresses and bartenders $2.00 an hour in 'under-the-table' cash, rather than $2.63 per hour required under the [Arkansas Minimum Wage Act]," the complaint states.

"Defendant paid all workers other than dancer plaintiffs, waitresses, and bartenders a 'flat fee' in 'under-the-table' cash for each shift worked, regardless of the hours that those persons worked, often resulting in an hourly rate of $5.41 per hour or less-i.e., far short of both the federal ($7.25) and the Arkansas state ($6.25) minimum wages and providing no compensation at all for overtime."

The four dancer plaintiffs say they worked as long as 12 hours a night, up to 72 hours each week.

Plaintiff Chris Cruthis says he was paid a $65 flat fee each night to work as a bouncer.

Plaintiff Marcus Stevens said he got a $75 flat fee each night to work as a disc jockey.

Both men say the club's owners refused to given them any W-2 or 1099 tax forms.

A similar class action was filed by a Dallas-area exotic dancer in September, who claimed the owners of Baby Dolls Topless Saloons stiffed her on wages, forced her to live off of tips and to pay a "house fee" for the right to work there.

The Barney's Barn employees seek actual and punitive damages for violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act and unjust enrichment.

They are represented by Josh Sanford of Little Rock.

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