Visitor Question

Am I covered as a dancer (stripper)?

Submitted By: Paula (Denver, CO)

I’m a dancer in a gentleman’s club. I hurt my knee really bad while on stage but didn’t get help because I thought I could handle it. My friend gave me a pill to calm the pain and just move on. But when I came home I started hurting really bad now my knee is very swollen. I have no medical insurance so I’m scared of going to the doctor.

Do I have any rights as a “stripper”? Or is the club not responsible for any injuries caused? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Paula,

Most Gentlemen’s Clubs do not pay women to dance. Instead, dancers pay the Club owner for the privilege of dancing. In most cases, dancers pay a flat fee per shift to dance. The strippers earn money through tips, and tips alone. Aside from the flat fee, many dancers must split their tips with the club owner and/or other workers (bouncer, bartender, etc.), often paying 10% percent of their tips.

In effect, you are considered an independent contractor. In most cases, employers are not required to provide worker’s compensation to independent contractors. As a result, you will likely be responsible for your own medical bills.

However, while you are likely not covered by workers’ compensation, your employer still has a legal duty to do everything within reason to provide a safe working environment. This means the dance floor must be cared for.

For example, if the club owner knows, or should know drinks are often spilled by customers onto parts of the dance floor, then the club owner should have in place steps to clean up the spills on a regular and continuing basis, and at a minimum before the dancer continues or a new dancer takes the floor.

If the club owner ignores the dangerous condition, and as a result a dancer is injured, the dancer may have the basis of as personal injury claim against the club owner.

However, there also exists a “duty to mitigate.” Mitigation means, if a dancer knows the dance floor has been compromised by spilled drinks, obstructions, broken floor tiles, etc., the dancer must not take the stage until the dangerous condition is eliminated. If she does, then she bears some responsibility for her own injuries.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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