Former dancer sues River North Strip Club for alleged assault


Four former dancers are suing the River North strip club, claiming management regularly allows customers to physically and sexually assault them in the workplace.

The dancer’s lawsuit alleges that a strip club, Rick’s Cabaret Chicago (1531 North Kingsbury Street, Chicago), alleged that a customer “severely assaulted and attacked a female dancer, including grabbing and groping her intimate parts.” You knowingly fostered a hostile work environment by allowing you to do so.” Private areas under clothing, slapping dancers, exposing genitals, biting, choking, and other illegal and criminal acts. “

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Chicago last week, named Pooh Bah Enterprises, Inc. and RCI Holdings, Inc. as defendant owners, in addition to RCI Hospitality Holdings CEO Eric Langan and Rick’s manager. is mentioned.

The lawsuit alleges that Rick’s dancers were wrongly classified as independent contractors to avoid compliance with employment laws.

In a statement Tuesday, Pooh Bah Enterprises categorically denied the former dancer’s allegations.

“The allegations are false,” the statement said. “We do not tolerate discrimination or misconduct of any kind.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Stephanie Corral, Nicole Potenzo, Lisa Waddell and Stephanie Hansen, who worked as dancers at the club until last year. They want suit class status.

The lawsuit details numerous instances in which Rick’s dancers reported assaults by customers to management, but management allegedly took no action.

One dancer was said to have been strangled “until she was almost out of breath and almost unconscious” by a customer while performing in the club’s VIP area. Dancer said he reported the assault to his manager, but “nothing was done and the customer was not kicked out.”

Another dancer said she was fired after confronting a customer at a club for plucking his genitals. The lawsuit claims the dancer was fired after the incident and the client was allowed to remain at the club.

In another instance, a customer is said to have bitten a dancer after she told him to stop trying to penetrate with his finger. Despite this, the manager “ignored the incident,” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges violations of various state and federal laws, including the Illinois Gender Violence Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Illinois Biometric Privacy and Information Act.

The lawsuit alleges that two dancers, Waddell and Corral, who were over 40, were fired because of their age.

Allegations in the lawsuit under Illinois’ strict biometric privacy law stem from allegations that the club collected and stored biometric information (fingerprints) of dancers without their prior written consent.

The question of whether strip club dancers are classified as employees or independent contractors has previously sparked lawsuits.

Rick’s was known as a VIP gentleman’s club until it was purchased by RCI Hospitality Holdings for $10.5 million in 2018.

The Chicago lawsuit cites a federal class action lawsuit filed against RCI by Dancer in New York in 2009. In 2015, RCI paid him $11.1 million to settle that lawsuit. Labor Standards Act.

In 2018, a former dancer at Chicago’s Admiral Theater filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that dancers at the Albany Park Club were incorrectly classified as independent contractors. The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice in 2019, according to court records.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has conducted a public investigation into the Admiralty Theater, communications director Victor Chen confirmed.

Federal court records show that the EEOC is investigating sexism and racism charges filed against the Admiral on behalf of himself and the class by the former dancer. Records show that the admiral challenged his EEOC-issued subpoena, arguing that he was not required to provide information for dancers who are considered independent contractors.

In February, federal judge Thomas M. Durkin ruled to enforce the agency’s subpoenas. In a court order dated Feb. 22, Durkin wrote that “the EEOC has the right to investigate whether a worker is an employee,” and that “many” federal courts have thus far found dancers properly classified as employees. He pointed out that it was determined that

A representative for the Admiral Theater did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

in May, A hearing is scheduled before the National Labor Relations Board regarding a similar classification issue involving strippers from Los Angeles club Star Garden. The stripper is trying to unionize with the Actor’s Stock Association. The club is challenging its status as an eligible employee to join the union.

The first status hearing in Rick’s case is scheduled for early May.

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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