An important new federal District Court case in Connecticut decided yesterday, D’Antuono v. Service Road Corp., (download here) has shown that to be the case exactly.
But, coming from the school of “you can’t make this stuff up”, it is remarkable that the case that is deciding this issue is one grounded in the claims of “exotic dancers” who allege that they were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees.
(How can the strip club claim that the individuals were independent contractors? While it is not relevant to the court’s decision here, the dancers signed “leases” to the “performance space”. Within those leases were arbitration provisions. The Court did not decide that issue, though if you’re interested, I discussed a similar case back in January here. )
What is important for all employers to know is that here, the central issue in this case was whether the agreement to arbitrate (found in a lease agreement between the exotic dancer (as “tenant”) and the strip club (as “landlord”) was enforceable. The Court said that it was. In doing so, the Court forced the plaintiffs to arbitrate their FLSA claims and remove the specter of a collection action, finding that the plaintiffs gave up that right in their case.