“Strippers Are Protected by Labor Laws, Judge Says”

From Patrick McGeehan in the New York Times comes this lawsuit story that surprised me. It begins:

As she shook her bare backside for the sparse afternoon crowd at Rick’s Cabaret, the dancer introduced as Vanessa appeared to be more committed to her work than the typical clock-puncher. But a federal judge ruled on Tuesday that she and her fellow strippers were hourly workers who deserved at least the minimum wage.

Although I realized strippers were vulnerable to bad treatment from pretty much everybody they came in contact with while on the job, I had no idea they were underpaid and I’m sympathetic to their cause, just as I am to unpaid interns and everyone else who isn’t paid decently for labor, no matter what the labor is.

What didn’t surprise me, though, was that Rick’s — the stripper club named as the defendant in this class-action lawsuit — is actually a chain of stripper clubs headquartered in … Texas. Where else?

The plaintiffs’ lawyer is E. Michelle Drake, a partner in the Nichols Kaster law firm; she is based in Minneapolis.

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