Strippers Score Hot Legal Victory Over Terrible Rhino
Here at Wonkette, we take our goal of bringing you Very Serious Legal News very seriously. Whether it is politicians getting busted for the sexytime, politicians getting busted for the sexytime, or politicians getting busted for the sexytime, we here at Wonkette are ON it.
Sometimes sexytime isn't so sexy, though! Sometimes ladies who deliver the sexytime to the lonely menz at the improbably named Spearmint Rhino chain of strip clubs get completely screwed over, and not in the fun way:
Two women who danced at the Spearmint Rhino in Oxnard launched the suit: Christeen Rivera and Tracy Dawn Trauth. They claimed they were wrongly treated as independent contractors rather than employees entitled to benefits. They sought back wages, tips, attorney fees and damages.
According to the suit, the women each earned an average of $500,000 a year in tips for lap and table dances. But the dancers alleged most of the money went to the club to cover "rent," the disc jockey, stage fees, overhead costs and even penalties if they didn't get enough men to purchase drinks during a shift.
$500,000 is a lot of monies! Though, given the strippers' likely clientele (presumably politicians looking for sexytime!) no amount of money is enough monies. According to the settlement, there was pretty much no way in which the Spearmint Rhino didn't straight-up rob everyone that worked for them:
It's definitely a big win for the 14 dancers named in the suit, but also for dancers in California. Judge Phillips ruled that within 30 days Spearmint Rhino must stop charging dancers what are known as "stage fees" for the right to work. Phillips also ruled that the chain is required to grant all dancers in their clubs employee status within six months, ending the illegal practice of classifying dancers as independent contractors while also placing workplace demands on them that far exceed that legal status. By managing dancers like employees but putting them on the books as independent contractors, club owners get out of paying dancers the benefits they're legally entitled to, which could include worker's compensation, unemployment, and health insurance if they qualify.
As Spearmint Rhino is apparently a ginormous chain of strip clubs, a veritable Wal-Mart of legal sexytime (your faithful Wonkette editrix informs us that they exist in copious amounts in Los Angeles), the settlement is $13 million and covers dancers in California, Kentucky, Idaho, Florida and Nevada. Woo for multi-state legal sexytime labor victories!!
The real story here, though, let's be honest, is the deeply unsexy name, Spearmint Rhino. Is that image - some improbably-colored (or flavored? ewww) large tough-hided animal? If so, you're in luck in California, Kentucky, Idaho, Florida, and Nevada! Those of us in other states will have to make do with our pedestrian strip club names that simply tell us how hot the ladies will be, like Dream Girls.