Fantasy Gentlemen's Club Accused of Exploiting Dancers
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Fantasy Gentlemen's Club, Grand Junction's only strip club, has been served with a class action lawsuit.
Former dancers of the 3-year-old business say they were exploited by its owner, Kevin Eardley. Civil rights law firm Killman, Lane & Newman, LLP, is representing the five women who have joined the suit. It alleges that Fantasy "unjustly and illegally" exploited dancers with excessive fines and rules, such as $100 for a shift change and $50 if a customer touches a dancer.
"They're required to follow all kinds of rules, down to the minutia. These are all indications that these are employees, not independent contractors. They're entitled to be paid minimum wages, overtime wages and be provided all of the legally required benefits," said Mari Newman, the plaintiffs' attorney.
However, Eardley told NewsChannel 5 Fantasy operates like any other strip club.
"You sign a lease contract saying you're a tenant, so you're leasing space to work. You come in, you pay your house fee. That varies on what time you come in. And then you get to keep your tips on anything you make above that," he explained.
Those house fees vary between $40 and $80 at Fantasy. But Newman says what's not normal, is mandatory payments to DJs and bouncers, as well as other regulations that can only be imposed on employees.
"There's a certain stigma that comes with working in the adult entertainment industry. There's also a lack of access to the legal system. And I think this is one of the reasons Fantasy Gentlemen's Club and other clubs like it have chosen to exploit these workers, because they feel like they can get away with it and nobody is going to stand up to them," Newman said.
Eardley called the suit bogus and says it's just retaliation for one of the girls being fired in the past.
"Three of these girls haven't worked [at Fantasy] in, I would say, well over a year. And the fourth one actually just tried to work a couple nights ago," Eardley added.
The next hearing is a scheduling conference on Dec. 3 in Denver.