San Antonio Strippers Challenge Industry Wage Laws
HOUSTON, Texas--A group of Texas topless dancers are suing their employer for money they feel they are owed, citing minimum wage and overtime laws as the basis for the case.
In a federal lawsuit recently filed against Tiffany's Cabaret in San Antonio, some of the dancers at the club have accused their employer of not providing them with enough money to meet the federal guidelines of wage laws.
So far, Samantha Marez and 15 other current dancers from Tiffany's Cabaret have joined the suit, along with Veronica Michelle Ayala, a former employee of 13 years. They hope to have their case certified as a class action lawsuit to include all current and ex-strippers who have been employed at the club.
Tiffany's Cabaret, along with many other strip clubs around the country, don't pay their employees an hourly wage. Instead, the dancers work for commission and tips. Then at the end of their shift they pay a "house fee" to the club. Tiffany's Cabaret also charges customers $5 to $10 for a private dance with their employees, which the dancers split with the club.
In a recent court appearance the club denied the claims that these girls are owed money.
Breitbart Texas spoke with a former Texas stripper who wishes to remain anonymous. She said, "Maybe if they aren't making enough money they should try a new career path. Stripping isn't for everyone. Believe it or not, you have to be more than just pretty to make it in that industry; you also have to work hard. Of course, the job is a lot more difficult if you aren't pretty."
KTRH legal analyst Chris Tritico says federal law requires workers to receive a minimum wage -- even if most of it's in the form of tips.
He told KTRH radio, "In a tipping industry you're allowed to pay less than minimum wage because the tips generally make up the difference so that you get at least minimum wage. If the bar ownership is not allowing that then they may have a case.
"The problem with this case is their ability to prove the damages. In a cash industry -- and in an industry like this -- I doubt very seriously that these dancers are reporting 100% of their income."
Follow Kenneth Webster on Twitter @ProducerKen.