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What kind of job do you have to pay just to go to work?

April 10, 2008

Many of us know this song and dance all too well.

Dancers at Queens Club Claim Wage Violations

If the dancers win their lawsuit, it could have ripple effects at the city’s many for-hire dance clubs, latter-day versions of Depression-era joints where men paid 10 cents for a dance. Many of today’s dancers, like their customers, are illegal immigrants who earn their money off the books. Amy Carroll, a lawyer for Make the Road, said it was ridiculous for the Flamingo to suggest that the dancers were independent contractors.

“It seems that Flamingo is doing the worst of both worlds,” she said. “They’re not paying the workers anything, and they’re controlling every aspect of the dancers’ work life. They tell them what days to work, what time to show up, what outfits to wear, what makeup to use. They even make the dancers sign in and out to go to the restroom. That level of control makes them employees, not independent contractors.”

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