Kansas strippers earned a legal victory last week when the state Supreme Court ruled that they should be considered employees, and therefore eligible for unemployment insurance when they're laid off. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the decision affirms a lower court's decision. The case centered around Club Orleans in Topeka. The club owners argued that because its dancers are paid entirely through tips (and not an hourly wage), they should be considered independent contractors.
A former dancer tried to get unemployment benefits in 2005, and that started the case. The Supreme Court said the club's managers maintain enough control over its dancers, including rules about customer contact and tips, to make the dancers employees rather than contractors.
The rules come on the heels of a bill introduced in the Kansas Legislature that would add more restrictions to strip clubs and adult businesses. The bill would ban nude lap dances and restrict where the businesses could be located. The bill has a hearing scheduled for Valentine's Day.