Amanda Berry, an exotic dancer at Pin Ups, a popular strip club in Decatur, has filed a lawsuit claiming she was fired because she became pregnant, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Berry, who is joined in the lawsuit with exotic dancer A’Cire Newby, claims that Pin Ups is in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
In addition to discrimination because of her pregnancy, Berry claims that the strip club charged illegal fees, including “leave early fees” and “slow day fees,” and classified dancers as independent contractors instead of employees so that they didn’t have to pay wages.
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The lawsuit, which was filed earlier this month, claims that Pin Ups owners misclassified Newby and Berry as independent contractors rather than employees, paying them only gratuities from customers and not minimum wage or overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a week.
But the lawsuit claims the club management regulated all aspects of their work including hours, time and manner of dancing, attire, and how they interacted with customers.
It also says club managers fined dancers for arriving late, if they didn’t appear onstage when their names were called, or if they weren’t dressed and ready on the club floor within 30 minutes of arriving. And management demanded daily fees from $35 to $95, including “bar fees,” “DJ fees,” “breathalyzer test fees,” “leave early fees” and even “slow day fees,” the lawsuit claims.
And in February, the civil complaint claims, when a manger learned Berry was pregnant, the manager told a subordinate to “put (Berry) in the book since this is her last day to work.”
According to University of Georgia law professor Ronald Carlson, the dancers may have a legitimate case.
“These very interesting claims will turn on whether dancers Berry and Newby can convince a judge that they were ‘employees,’” he said. “Cutting in their favor is the fact that the club established parameters for their conduct, including fines for late arrival and regulation of attire. This suggests a lack of independent status on the dancer’s part.”
But Pin Ups also has factors working in its favor, according to Carlson.
“One of those will be the fact that no wages were ever paid,” Carlson said. “To the average citizen, if a company is not paying you a salary, you are not an employee.”
Read more AJC.com.