DETROIT — A federal judge has given the green light to a $6.5 million settlement over wages involving 28,000 current or former dancers at affiliated Deja Vu clubs operating in 18 states.
A class-action lawsuit accused the clubs of violating wage laws by treating performers as independent contractors who had to pay a fee to strip, in lieu of being treated as regular employees.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III said the planned settlement offers “value to the class in the form of cash, rent credit or dance fee payments, and long-term structural changes to defendants' business practices, all of which directly benefit class members."
A unique part of the deal will require the clubs, going forward, to use an agreed set of criteria to determine whether each dancer should be deemed an employee or an independent contractor.
Some dancers, depending on length of service, could receive less than $200, under the settlement.
Dancers who wish to work as independent contractors will share in a $4.5 million pool of credits. The credits will offset the fees charged by clubs to perform.
The settlement now allows “an improved screening system to accurately classify workers, an enhanced offer of employment and increased benefits and protections for employees and independent contractors alike,” the Detroit-based jurist said.
The deal also includes $1.2 million in attorneys’ fees.