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Strippers say they are owed money

Posted: January 2, 2012 - 1:10am

ANCHORAGE — After more than five years of legal wrangling, three women who worked as strippers are going to court over a pay dispute.

The women are alleging that the strip clubs in Anchorage where they danced owe them more than $324,000 in back pay and other compensation, the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday.

The case is scheduled to open in federal court in Anchorage on Tuesday.

Shanna “Brooke” Thornton, Jennifer Prater and Heather “Kelly” Kidd say the clubs failed to pay minimum wages and forced them to pool their tips to give to other employees.

Owners of the clubs — Jeanette Johnson at Crazy Horse and Kathleen and Carol Hartman at Fantasies — have denied any wrongdoing.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess denied a motion by the strippers to designate the case as a class-action lawsuit, which would’ve likely included many other Fantasies or Crazy Horse dancers in the suit. But the judge also recently denied a motion by the clubs to dismiss the case.

Burgess will attempt to determine how much money, if any, the women are owed.

According to court documents, Thornton worked at both clubs between 2003 and 2006, and Prater and Kidd worked at the Crazy Horse in 2005 and 2006.

While making $7.15 an hour, the state minimum wage at the time, the Crazy Horse dancers were required to pay a $10 “house fee” for every hour that they worked, the court papers say. At Fantasies, the house fee was $15 per hour.

Both clubs also required the dancers to tip their “house moms,” or floor supervisors, along with doormen and DJs. There were also requirements to sell souvenirs or drinks to customers and were subject to “fines” if they failed, according to the court documents.

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