Photo: via Club Orleans
Strippers in Kansas are legitimate employees and not just independent contractors of the clubs where they work, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled.The final decision in Milano’s v. Kansas Department of labour Contributions Unit capped off a seven-year legal battle over whether strippers should be considered actual employees at Club Orleans, a gentleman’s club in Topeka, Kan., The Wichita Eagle reported Monday.
The state’s labour Department argued that the semi-nude dancers were employees because they were a key part of the club’s financial success.
“The proof of the extent of the dancers’ integration into Club Orleans business is shown by billboards exhibiting the pictures of dancers, pictures of dancers on the outside of the club’s building, and newspaper advertisements with pictures of dancers and promotions involving dancers,” Department of labour officials claimed in court filings.
The case began in 2005 after a former dancer filed an unemployment claim.
Friday’s decision means dancers are eligible for state unemployment benefits, and the club has to chip in to a state fund that pays for the benefits, according to the Star.
In addition to the ruling, the court papers revealed details of Club Orleans’ internal operations.
From the Eagle, which cites court documents:
- In 2004, majority owner John Samples allegedly stopped paying dancers a salary, meaning their only income was from tips. The court decision didn’t address this issue.
- Dancers also allegedly had to pay to use the stage and dressing rooms, as well as DJs, and bouncers.
- Dancers allegedly had to sign in with a bouncer at the beginning of every shift.
The state’s high court held that such levels of control mandated the women be classified as employees rather than independent contractors.
Samples couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
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