Rick’s Cabaret

  • 10 Sep 2013 at 4:41 PM

Bonus Watch ’13: Rick’s Cabaret

Former exotic dancers who were employed at Rick’s Cabaret International Inc. are entitled to be paid a minimum wage, said a U.S. judge who ruled that they were club employees and not independent contractors under the law. Former strippers sued Rick’s Cabaret and its corporate parent RCI Entertainment New York in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in 2009, alleging they weren’t paid any salary in violation of federal and state labor laws. The dancers said they instead received money from customers including “performance fees” for personal dances. Publicly traded Rick’s Cabaret argued that it exercised “minimal control” over the women, whom the company said were independent contractors not covered by labor law. Rick’s Cabaret also filed a countersuit for “unjust enrichment” claiming that the performance fees the dancers earned should be counted against any statutory wage obligation of the defendants. U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in New York today rejected the defendants’ bid for summary judgment, or a ruling before trial, concluding that Rick’s Cabaret had “regulated almost every aspect of the dancers’ behavior within the club.” [Bloomberg, Related: Bankers And Traders “Legitimately” Expensing Strip Clubs Do Rick’s Cabaret A Solid]

When the financial crisis hit, financial services employees could have easily decided that patronizing strip clubs, alone or with clients, was an expense that had to go. Spent a few more hours on YouPorn and, when there were particularly substantial fees at stake, offered an enthusiastic hand job in the back of the cab after dinner. But guess what? Wall Street didn’t stop hitting up strip clubs and, on the contrary, redoubled its support. So much so that one gentlemen’s club in particular would like to express its appreciation. A little thank you, for  always being there to shove 20’s in g-strings. Read more »