The issue of compliance with overtime and minimum wage requirements is an emerging one within the realm of certain adult entertainment businesses. Many exotic dancers have begun taking their employers to court to claim that the pay they receive doesn’t satisfy the minimum wage. Some clubs have used the “employee versus independent contractor” argument to attempt to escape liability. Others have inserted in their agreements with their dancers clauses requiring arbitration of disputes.
In the case of one Rahway dancer, the dancer was able to avoid being forced into arbitration after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that arbitration clauses must have specific language to include statutory claims like minimum wage and discrimination, and the dancer’s clause didn’t have that wording. The dancer’s victory here shows once again that, in many employment cases, the difference between success and defeat is in the details, which is why you need a knowledgeable New Jersey employment attorney on your side.
Alissa was an exotic dancer at a men’s club in Rahway. As is often common in this business field, this club required their dancers to sign contracts that stated that the dancers were independent contractors who were merely renting performance space inside the club. The contract also had another common provision: the arbitration clause. This clause stated that either party could seek to compel arbitration of any dispute that arose under the terms of the contract.