Court approves $347K settlement for strippers

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 7, 2013

MARTINSBURG - A class action lawsuit filed by two former exotic dancers has been settled.

Entertainment of the Eastern Panhandle Inc. is doing business as the Legz Clubs.

The Legz Club Inc.; Legz Morgantown Inc.; and Troy W. Erickson were also named as defendants in the suit.

An amended order granting joint motion for final settlement approval was filed Oct. 1.

The parties jointly moved for an order granting final approval to a Fair Labor Standards Act Collective and Rule 23 Class Action Settlement, according to the order.

Of the $347,000 Gross Settlement Amount, $194,500 shall be paid to the FLSA Collective Members and Rule 23 Class Members over time. The plaintiffs' attorneys received $138,000 for attorneys fees.

Arielle Jordan, also known as Queen, and Patrice Ruffin, also known as Karma, were exotic dancers at the defendants' club, according to a complaint filed March 8, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Martinsburg.

The plaintiffs claimed Jordan worked approximately four nights per week and Ruffin worked approximately five nights per week.

During the plaintiffs' employment, the defendants required the plaintiffs to arrive at work at approximately 6:30 p.m. and allowed them to conclude their work duties at approximately 3:30 a.m., according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claimed they defendants did not pay either of them any wages for work duties performed and the defendants implemented and utilized a system whereby each of them was required and compelled to pay the defendants, out of personal tips, $10 for each private dance performed.

The defendants also required each plaintiff to pay $40 out of her personal tips for each session in the Champagne Room, $30 for each session in the "shower room" and $10 each night to the bartender and $10 to the disk jockey, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claimed the defendants failed to pay them at an hourly rate at least equal to the minimum wage and failed to do so.

The defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs were seeking compensatory damages. They were being represented by Garry G. Geffert and Gregg C. Greenberg of the Zipin Law Firm LLC.

The case was assigned to District Judge Gina Groh.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Martinsburg case number: 3:11-cv-00019

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