From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
A strip club manager who allegedly asked an exotic dancer to show him her breasts while she wasn’t performing for customers will have to defend against sexual harassment claims, a federal judge in North Carolina ruled March 13 ( Clark v. Top Shelf Entm’t, LLC , W.D.N.C., No. 3:16-cv-00144, 3/13/17 ).
Sexual harassment is typically thought of as unwelcome actions that create a sexually hostile workplace. This decision shows that the standard isn’t different for an establishment where the main business is providing sexually charged entertainment.
A manager asking an employee to show her breasts is ordinarily a “textbook case” of sexual harassment, Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina said. There is no reason to interpret dancer Asia Clark’s agreement to perform at Club Onyx in Charlotte, N.C., in states of undress as a license for a supervisor to demand she remove her top for his personal gratification, the judge said.
The bright-line rule for what constitutes sexual harassment is blurred when the person claiming to be harassed works as an exotic dancer, Cogburn said. There could be occasions, such as interviews and rehearsals, when it wouldn’t be harassment to ask a performer to remove her top, he said.
RCI Hospitality Holdings Inc., parent company of Top Shelf Entertainment LLC, which operates Club Onyx, might have prevailed in its motion for summary judgment if that were all Clark alleged, Cogburn said. But her claim that the manager asked her to show her breasts “for personal, prurient interests unrelated to a legitimate business need” went beyond what her job required, the judge said.
A representative for Club Onyx couldn’t be reached for comment March 15. Clark’s attorney declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.
Kristen Finlon with Finlon Law PLLC in Charlotte, N.C., represented Clark. John Hasty and Langdon Cooper with Mullen, Holland & Cooper PA in Gastonia, N.C., represented Club Onyx.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Clark_v_Top_Shelf_Entmt_LLC_No_316cv00144MOCDSC_2017_BL_78076_WDN.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)