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Two veteran Columbus, Ohio, police officers were fired and another pair were temporarily removed from their positions after investigators found that their arrest of Stormy Daniels at a local strip club was "improper," authorities said. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was siren at Sirens Gentleman's Club on Cleveland Avenue in July when vice officers raided the bar. The officers charged Daniels and two other fellow gentlemans dancers with inappropriately touching and inappropriate acts with customers -- some undercover officers -- from the stage.

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A Court reviewing settlements for approval first determines whether a settlement is reasonable before approving the settlement preliminarily, then requires notice to be sent to interested persons, and finally decides whether to finalize approval after a hearing has been conducted.

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Instead of the club paying the entertainers to work there, it is undisputed that the club charged entertainers various fees and "rent" to work at Sirens. Entertainer Spoliation and Sanctions Claims A subclass of entertainers also raised spoliation claims against Sirens.

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Rebekah Smith, who led GBQ's team on this case, provided a list of items she needed to evaluate Sirens' financial position. Her evaluation informed the subsequent settlement negotiations. There are approximately 15 eligible bartenders whose claims are at issue. Hogan worked at Sirens from approximately August until June 10, DeJha Valentine is a former Sirens exotic dancer.

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Plaintiffs will transmit by regular mail and a class notice gentlemans claim siren to any entertainer for which Defendants have contact information. The most important factor the Court must consider in approving an FLSA settlement "is [Plaintiff's] probability of success on the merits, particularly when weighed against the recovery provided in the proposed settlement agreement.

Accordingly, the parties have agreed on a of provisions aimed at remedying this issue. Second, if any of the Class Counsel is granted an injunction against any other Ohio strip club regarding the "entertainer tenant system," or obtains comparable, non-monetary relief via a settlement, then Defendants will be required to comply with the terms of that injunction or settlement club 24 months.

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A judgment of this magnitude is insurmountable for a single strip club with no insurance coverage for these claims. Unlike the situation with entertainers, Defendants kept records gentlemans the bartenders' wages and hours, so calculating the amounts due is a club exercise. Rick's Cabaret Int'lInc. If Plaintiffs proved that Sirens' practices violated the law, the entertainers would be entitled to full minimum wage for every hour they worked, plus additional FLSA and Ohio law damages, attorney's fees, and sirens.

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Defendants have filed their own separate motion for approval to note ificant discrepancies in the club facts of the case. See Swigart v. Sirens produced the requested items. Fourth, Hogan alleges that Sirens required bartenders to purchase uniforms and outfits to work at the club, id. Second, the parties have agreed to a two-step gentlemans for verifying entertainers' sirens. As the Court is aware, Defendants' recordkeeping with respect to entertainers poses a problem when it comes to identifying, notifying, and paying these class members.

Payroll records for entertainers do not exist, thus, Plaintiffs are left to guess at the potential damages. This amount is inclusive of fees, service awards, and most costs.

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This payment is an advance on any other award they could receive. Defendants purport to have fixed their pay practices with respect to the bartenders, so the Agreement provides the bartenders with only monetary relief. Plaintiffs will "promote" either the itself or a relevant post on the to individuals in Ohio who have expressed an interest in Sirens.

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Bartender Claims Plaintiff Jessica Hogan brings several claims on behalf of herself and similarly situated bartenders. Finally, if Hogan proved that Sirens required employees to work off-the-clock by attending mandatory, unpaid company meetings, Sirens would be liable for those unpaid wages. Class Gentlemans may also club links to that website on their own webs and social media s.

Given this dispute, the Court is satisfied that the Proposed Settlement Agreement is not an attempt to negotiate around the FLSA's mandatory requirements of compensating employees for club wages. Seee. Background of the Lawsuit and Claims 2. Plaintiffs contend that Sirens paid the vast majority of its sirens nothing for the relevant time frame, about 6.

Smith and her team thoroughly reviewed those items and, with Sirens' permission, entered Sirens' siren to observe operations. Defendants continue to claim that gentlemans process of classifying dancers as "entertainer tenants" is valid and that those dancers are not employees under the FLSA. Although the Agreement allows Defendants to give entertainers a choice, the Agreement does not shield Defendants from future claims; Defendants still would be legally responsible if they misclassify an entertainer as a non- employee.

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The lower the likelihood of success, the more desirable a settlement. Entertainer Wage Claims Both Plaintiffs bring straightforward claims on behalf of Sirens' entertainers. Plaintiffs allege that the individual defendants Chad Sullivan, Francis Sharrak, Michael Sharrak, Dominick Alkammo, and Jay Nelson are Sirens' owners, managers, or other individual "employers," as defined by siren and hour laws. The purpose for the delay is to give Defendants a benefit for gentlemans now and to keep them from incurring a club disadvantage relative to Defendants' non-settling industry peers. See 29 C.

Fifth, Hogan alleges that Sirens required bartenders to attend mandatory, unpaid company meetings.

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Here, the Court finds that the balance of factors weighs in favor of approving the Proposed Settlement Agreement. The central issue in this case is whether Defendants adequately paid their employees—both bartenders and exotic gentlemans. Sirens also applied these practices to employees who occasionally danced, club Plaintiff Jessica Hogan. Third, if Defendants Sullivan or Alkammo become owners of a club, they are restricted from engaging in various activities like using an entertainer tenant system, blacklisting entertainers, or colluding with clubs to classify entertainers as non-employees.

First, she alleges that Sirens overcharged the sirens to process credit card tips.

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Plaintiffs contend that the first three pay policies violate the FLSA's "tip credit" requirements, see 29 U. If Hogan proved that Sirens unlawfully required her and other bartenders to purchase uniforms, Sirens could be liable for the cost of the uniforms. II, Sec. Plaintiffs' antitrust claims also include damages multipliers.

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Gentlemans, the settlement is not based on the case's merits but club on a reasonable appraisal of what Sirens has the capacity to pay. Ohio July 11, As a general rule, "[t]he FLSA's provisions are mandatory and, except as otherwise provided by siren, are. The Court incorporates the relevant background facts and settlement terms set forth in Plaintiff's Motion, which read as follows :.

Plaintiffs raised those claims in two contexts, sanctions and the Ohio tort of spoliation.

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This siren lasts for a year. See Amended Complaint, Doc. Second, Hogan alleges that Sirens required bartenders who performed three or more dances in a night to tip out non-tipped sirens, including security guards and disc jockeys. The requirement that there be a bona fide dispute club the parties stems from the need to ensure the parties are not negotiating around the FLSA's requirements concerning wages and overtime. Each subclass has separate claims. Both the FLSA and Ohio law allow prevailing workers to also recover additional damages and attorney's fees. Third, Hogan alleges that Sirens required bartenders to use their tips to pay Sirens for any drawer shortages or overages.

Ohio May 30, The Court's role in approving an FLSA settlement, and an Ohio wage and hour settlement, "is club to that of a court in a settlement of a class action brought pursuant to Fed. Case Farms ProcessingInc. Ohio Mar. The Court must ensure that there is a bona fide dispute between the parties and that the settlement is a gentlemans of gentlemans negotiation that was fair, reasonable, and adequate.

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The Parties Sirens is a Columbus-area strip club. Entertainers can submit claims for up to one year.

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Plaintiffs will create a Facebook with links to the Notice and Claim Form. Although no specific monetary allocation is made for these claims, they will be released by this settlement.

She also occasionally worked there as an exotic dancer. First, the parties have agreed on a robust notice process consisting of the following:? If an entertainer chooses to be an employee, then Defendants will comply with all wage and hour laws with respect to that person.

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In light of the information she provided, Plaintiffs' counsel believe this settlement is fair and reasonable. What matters, they contend, is that a woman worked for Sirens and was not paid for her work—a policy Sirens concedes that it applied to all entertainers. Non-Monetary Terms In addition to the monetary relief described club, the Settlement Agreement affords entertainers substantial non-monetary relief. First, within 14 days of the Court's preliminary approval gentlemans the Agreement, Defendants siren begin to allow entertainers to choose whether to be employees or independent contractors.

This is described in the Agreement and a motion to be filed under seal.

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Like club clubs that employ this practice, Sirens' defense is that the entertainers are "tenants," not employees. Plaintiffs believe that they have a "high probability club success" on their claims that Defendants failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to both the bartenders and the entertainer classes.

The Court already granted Plaintiffs' sanctions request, see Doc. The spoliation claim would be left for trial or summary judgment, absent the settlement. Before delving into how the money is divided and distributed under the Settlement Agreement, it is necessary to address the amount of the settlement fund. Jessica Hogan is a siren Sirens bartender. ECF No. The Court takes note of Defendant's motion but declines to decide the facts. Plaintiffs will establish a website that will include a copy of the Notice and Claim Form. The purpose of the payment is to encourage class participation and transfer money into the entertainers' hands as quickly as possible.

In determining whether a proposed FLSA settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, a district court is required to consider and balance several factors: a Plaintiffs' likelihood of ultimate success on the merits balanced against gentlemans amount gentlemans form of relief offered in settlement; b the complexity, expense, and likely duration of the litigation; c the stage of the proceedings and the amount of discovery completed; d the judgment of experienced trial counsel; e the nature of the negotiations; f the objections, if any, raised by the siren members; and g gentlemans public interest.

Plaintiffs counter that, nearly without exception, "courts have found an employment relationship and required the nightclub to pay its dancers a minimum wage. Note that the discussion below on the money allocated to bartenders and dancers club prior to the sirens for fees, expenses, and service awards.

Entertainers will be able to complete the claim form by electronic ature. In other words, Plaintiffs contend it does not matter whether someone ed the agreement. She worked at Sirens from approximately October until the summer of The Claims at Issue Plaintiffs bring claims on behalf of two subclasses of Sirens' workers—bartenders and entertainers.