TUSCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) — A gentleman’s club in Tuscola refuses to pay its exotic dancers for their work and instead requires them to pay management a “kickback” fee for each shift, according to a federal class action lawsuit filed Monday.
The dancers claim Dirt Cheap, Inc., the ironically named company that runs The Hideout Club, misclassified them as “non-employee contractors” as opposed to employees and never paid them for their shifts.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, alleges the workers don’t even make the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) and have to pay management anywhere from $10-$30 or more in a “house fee” every time they work.
One woman, Tamicya Waddell of Decatur, is named in the lawsuit, but it claims the number of affected performers exceeds 40.
Dancers also accuse Dirt Cheap Inc. of “regularly and customarily” controlling the tip money they received from customers, distributing it to “non-dancer employees,” and at times, keeping it.
In the meantime, Dirt Cheap Inc. is raking in more than $500,000 a year in gross revenue, the complaint reads.
By allegedly misclassifying the performers’ employment, failing to pay them and withholding their tips, the lawsuit says the company violated the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act.
Waddell, on behalf of herself and more than 40 “similarly situated individuals,” is suing for damages, and what the lawsuit says they’re owed: back pay in wages for the shifts they worked, a return of all kickback fees and reimbursement for lost tip money.