BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a Baltimore stripper is entitled to back wages because her nightclub wrongly classified her as an independent contractor instead of an employee.
Unique Butler, who used the stage name Dior, sued for back pay in federal court in Baltimore. On Thursday, U.S. Senior Judge William Nickerson ruled in her favor.READ MORE: 2 People Killed In Car Crash In Charles County
Norma Jean’s Nite Club, where Butler worked, said it gives all employees the option of working as an employee or independent contractor, and that all dancers, including Butler, chose to work as contractors. The club’s owner said dancers are allowed to keep all the tips they receive, set their own hours, and choose their own outfits.
But the judge said that overall, the dancers are more akin to employees than contractors under federal law.READ MORE: Police Searching For 12-Year-Old and 14-Year-Old Siblings From Towson
Further hearings and a possible trial will determine the amount of back pay to which Butler is entitled.
Similar lawsuits have been filed on behalf of strippers in other states, but Butler’s attorney, Jamon Wiggs, said the ruling is the first of its kind in the federal court system’s 4th Circuit, which encompasses Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.MORE NEWS: $30K Reward Offered For Information In Efraim Gordon's Fatal Shooting
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