Three bartenders say Southern Xposure didn't pay them properly, took tips

By Chris Dickerson | Dec 6, 2016

PRINCETON – Three women have filed a lawsuit against a local chain of strip clubs, claiming they weren’t paid the wages promised them.

Nicole Selby, Michelle Lawson and Jessica Brady filed their complaint Dec. 1 in Mercer Circuit Court against BCC Café Inc., BMC Café Inc., BRC Café Inc., MMC Café Inc. and PMC Café Inc., all doing business as Southern Xposure. Owner Mahesh Patel also is listed as a defendant.

The women – who were bartenders at the chain’s locations in Bradley, Barboursville and Princeton – were employed by the defendants at various times from October 2013 until September 2016. The complaint says the defendants agreed to pay them at a rate of about $8 per hour plus tips from customers.

They claim the defendants did not pay their wages for all hours worked each week. They say they typically were shorted two to five hours of work each week. It also says the defendants withheld tips from the plaintiffs. They say this is a violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.

The women seek to have full recovery of all unpaid wages. They also seek statutory damages, court costs, attorney fees and other relief.

They are represented by Martinsburg attorney Garry G. Geffert and attorney Gregg C. Greenberg of Zipin, Amster & Greenberg LLC in Silver Spring, Md.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Derek Swope.

Their case is similar to class action filed last month by a Raleigh County man who claims Patel and the chain of clubs also violated state wage laws

In his Raleigh Circuit Court complaint filed Nov. 17, Billy Grossi says he was hired by the defendants on an hourly basis.

“After being hired, he was not paid for any of his time worked, and not paid overtime,” his complaint states.

Grossi said the defendants violated the act by failing to follow that law.

“Defendants benefited by failing to pay any of its employees,” the complaint states. “The named plaintiff, as well as all other similarly situated individuals who worked for defendants have been harmed by defendants’ actions.”

Grossi seeks compensatory judgment for himself and all members of the proposed class for all damages they have suffered. He also seeks pre- and post-judgment interest, front pay, back pay, benefits, emotional damages, non-economic damage, court costs and attorney fees.

Mercer Circuit Court case number 16-C-397

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