AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR) — A lawyer representing two former employees of Cassidy’s Polo Club and Players Bikini Club is suing them for allegedly failing to pay their dancers.
This is the same path taken recently that shut down three other strip clubs in Amarillo.
The owners of Beavers Strip Club were sued three years ago for failing to pay its employees because of the judgment against them. They were forced to sell three establishments.
Now the two remaining men’s clubs in town are being sued for the same reason.
Two dancers from Cassidy’s Polo Club and Players Bikini Bar want to get paid for services rendered, and now the lawyer representing them wants to know if anyone else is in the same boat.
Attorney Jeremi Young says those two strip joints aren’t paying their employees, at least not the dancers he’s representing.
“That’s illegal,” says Young. “If you employ someone to do a task you have to pay them some amount of money.”
Young is the same attorney who successfully sued three other Amarillo strip clubs in the past for failure to play employees.
He says one or more of the employees involved in the previous suits came forward claiming the other clubs were doing the same thing, attempting to classify the dancers as independent contractors.
“They’re primarily dependent on these clubs for their livelihood,” Young added. ‘They work full shifts six or seven days a week and they don’t get paid one dime by these clubs. They’re entirely dependent on tips.”
Young says there are instances where some employers do not have to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, but they do have to pay a minimum of at least $2.13 an hour and their tips must get them to the $7.25 mark.
Young says these clubs were not doing that. In fact, he says the dancers weren’t paid at all, and the clubs actually charged the dancers to work there.
“They’re called house fees. They’re required to pay house fees. They would go up or down depending on when the girls showed up to start dancing,” Young added.
He says the clubs would also fine the dancers for various infractions for things like leaving work before the club closed, or if “she drank too much.”
When young sued Beavers and the other strip clubs in town, they were forced to shut down. Two of them can never be opened as strip clubs again because of the change in city ordinance 14 years ago, requiring topless clubs operate in an industrial zone.
Existing clubs that are in other zones like Cassidy’s are allowed to stay in business with three exceptions: If they change ownership, shut down for 6 months or more, or are destroyed.
It cannot ever reopen as a topless club again, at least not in that location.