As states start to recognize exotic dancers as employees under Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), states that have not yet classified exotic dancers as employees have put club owners in danger of costly litigation for violating the FLSA. Thus, this Note is designed to act as a road map for club owners and state legislators to recognize exotic dancers as employees in compliance with the FLSA and provide insight into how to avoid litigation. This Note analyzes this issue in four parts; Part IV, the analysis, is split into four substantial sections. Part I gives a short summary of the history and purpose of the FLSA. It then reviews the relevant facts and holdings of three circuit court cases in which exotic dancers were classified as employees under the FLSA. Finally, it concludes with a short discussion of the test used in these cases to make that determination. Part II starts with a broader geographical analysis of the United States and summarizes the current groups of states in relation to the laws surrounding exotic dancers as employees. It then analyzes the industry impact of states that mandated dancers be recognized as employees and states that still do not have such mandate. It also discusses the potential impact on states that have not yet followed suit. Part II then analyzes the practical implications of holding exotic dancers as employees of clubs. Part III presents an anomaly in the current framework of the industry that has the potential to lead to a destructive loophole with feature entertainers. Part IV compares the labor rights of strippers to other sex workers. Part V is a brief conclusion with broad recommendations for club operators and legislators, reiterating the potential impact on the health and wellbeing of the entertainers.
Inconsistency at the Pole: Exotic Dancer's Employment Status Should Be Uniform Throughout the U.S.,
35 J.L. & Health
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol35/iss2/7