Wage and hour issues are tricky. Simply because an employer calls you salaried employee or an independent contractor, does mean the name truly hold any legal weight. And, now we have a great extreme example of misclassification of employment to avoid wage laws. In Thompson v. House, Inc., the federal court for the District of Columbia held that the strip club controlled the activities of the dancing girls to such an extent that an employment relationship was created, and thus, rejecting the argument that they were independent contractors. The factors that the court used to show control over the strippers: They were paid by the hour had set schedules; they had to be on-stage for thirty-minute periods; work rules that disallowed swearing, fighting, biting, scratching, doing drugs or fondling dancers on stage; required payment by the strippers to the management and disc jockey; penalization for calling in sick or being tardy; and other factors.
As employees, the strippers would be entitled to minimum wage, overtime at time and a half, and Worker’s Compensation protection. They would not qualify as exempt employees for minimum wage because they had to share their tips with management and the DJ. And, because the strip club failed to keep track of working hours, the club is exposed for serious overtime claims.
So if your employer calls you a salaried employee or an independent contractor, that designation may be no more real than stripper names such as “Fantasia” and “Luscious.”
If you even think that your employment rights have been violated or that you might need an employment lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. The Spitz Law Firm is dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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