Kan. court says strippers are employees

Feb. 4, 2013 at 2:18 PM
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TOPEKA, Kan., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that exotic dancers are eligible for unemployment insurance and other employment benefits.

The Friday decision put an end to Milano's vs. Kansas Department of Labor Contributions Unit, that stemmed from a 2005 unemployment claim filed by a former semi-nude female dancer at Topeka's Club Orleans, The Wichita Eagle reported.

Club Orleans is owned by Milano's Inc.

In court, the Kansas Department of Labor argued because of strict rules imposed on exotic dancers at the club by Milano's, they should be classified as employees, not independent entertainment contractors.

The Labor Department said dancers were required to pay non-negotiable "rent" for use of the stage and dressing rooms, as well as extra fees for the disc jockeys and bouncers, among other rules.

"Milano's rules go as far as mandating that the dancers cannot refuse a customer's offer to purchase the dancer a beverage," the Labor Department said.

The state Supreme Court agreed with the Labor Department, stating in its ruling: "Ample substantial competent evidence in the record before us ... demonstrates that Milano's possessed such a right of control over the dancers at Club Orleans. Most telling, the house set various rules, and dancers' violations of those rules were punishable by fines and termination."

The ruling means the dancers are eligible for state unemployment benefits if they're laid off and the club has to contribute to the state fund that pays the benefits, court record state.

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