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Strip club owner sued by dancers over unpaid wages, overtime

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that an exotic dancer is suing her former boss for failure to pay her overtime and unfairly reducing her wages. The dancer reported worked at Heavenly Bodies in Elk Grove Village, Skybox in Harvey and Cowboys in Markham.

The suit was reportedly filed late last month in U.S. District Court against the 63-year old man, who was partial owner of those establishments. According to the woman's suit, she and other employees were required to work in excess of 40 hours per week without overtime pay. The suit also claims that her boss illegally took money out of their checks.

The dancer claims that her boss improperly classified her and other employees as "independent contractors" in order to avoid paying taxes. The money being taken from their paychecks was referred to as "unauthorized deductions." Because of those deductions, the dancers didn't even receive minimum wage during some weeks.

He is apparently now in prison for a one-year term after he pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing the IRS in collecting taxes and one count of filing a false income tax return. The man had been accused of withholding millions of dollars in taxes and storing $12 million in cash in a warehouse in Elk Grove Village. According to the plea agreement in that case, the man failed to report about $2.4 million in cash payments to some of his employees between 1997 and 2002, allowing him to skip out on $364,000 in taxes.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "Dancer sues suburban strip club owner over unpaid wages," August 19, 2011.

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