Playhouse Lounge has been hit with a proposed collective and class action lawsuit filed by a former entertainer who claims she was deprived of minimum and overtime wages and subject to sexual harassment.
The plaintiff alleges she was misclassified as an independent contractor while working at the Burlington, New Jersey lounge, where she clocked between 50 and 60 hours each week without proper pay. In fact, the plaintiff claims her only source of income was tips from patrons, as the defendant did not pay any wages at all. Rather, Playhouse Lounge charged entertainers various fees to work at the club, according to the suit. More specifically, the case says entertainers were charged a minimum $12 house fee per shift and $10 fees paid to security, the manager of each shift, and for each dance performed. In addition to fees, entertainers were allegedly charged penalties for breaking house rules, such as a $15 charge for lateness and a $50 charge for no-shows, and were not reimbursed for the cost of costumes, makeup, props, hair and nails.
More egregiously, the case claims the plaintiff faced ongoing pressure from management to prostitute herself against her wishes. The suit says the club hosted private “champagne room” bookings where entertainers were expected to engage in sexual acts with patrons.
“Although Plaintiff repeatedly refused, Defendants continued to introduce Plaintiff to patrons and suggest a ‘champagne room’ booking,” the complaint reads, adding that the plaintiff had no choice but to eventually quit.