Best Lawsuits

City Paper

Norma Jean’s Nite Club on the Block, Baltimore’s downtown adult-entertainment district, won “Best Strip Joint” in the 2005 Best of Baltimore issue, which said it’s “the only place to go in town when you wanna party like a late-night rap video.” That was before we learned how the place treated its dancers, a labor situation that came to light last fall in lawsuits filed by two strippers who claimed they weren’t paid wages, only collected tips, and that they were required to share them to pay for DJs and cleaning services. Since then, Norma Jean’s settled with one of the strippers–but another four have sued, too, and Norma Jean’s counter-sued one of them. The club says the strippers were independent contractors, not employees, and so weren’t entitled to wages–and it might have a point, but that doesn’t change how we think about the situation: It’s a great example of a barely clad laboring class trying to stick it to the pernicious, money-grubbing man.

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