Future class action? Dancers in Los Angeles file a wage & hour suit over independent contractor classification

(Un)covering this story requires some care, as I don't want The Complex Litigator black-listed by content filters, hence the oblique references to follow.

It has been reported on latimes.com and abajournal.com that four dancers of the quasi-prurient-arts variety are suing nightclubs over unpaid wages and tips.  (Normal references omitted; see hyperlinks.)  The dancers are challenging their classification as independent contractors, contending that they are employees, who signed "independent contractor agreements" under duress.

Several thoughts sprang to mind when I read this story.  First, it is unclear from the reporting whether these dancers are so-called "go-go dancers" at mainstream nightclubs (the dancers you might see in clubs dancing in elevated cages as part of the effort at ambience) or are dancers at clubs of the tip-for-tat sort.  Second, this sounds suspiciously like either (1) a wage & hour class action in the works, or (2) an effort to avoid the pitfalls one encounters in wage & hour class actions by attempting to generate interest in a "mass action" of similarly situated dancers.  Either way, the press coverage of the filing will probably generate a significant number of inquiries about how to join the suit.  Third, both articles talk about how the independent contrator "agreements were signed under duress and are therefore void."  This blog has previously covered independent contractors misclassification cases, discussed previously here and here.  The terms of an independent contractor agreement are far down the list of factors examined when attempting to determine whether an employment relationship exists.  And, finally, I just wanted the chance to discuss news about dancers suing for better wages, and now I have.