Stormy Daniels: Strippers need to be treated as freelancers, not employees 

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Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

From the LA Times, Stormy Daniels argues against the Dynamex decision and that exotic dancers should be independent contractors and not employees. She writes:

 

Performers in the adult entertainment industry often want anonymity. Today I’m very public about the nature of my work, but that has not always been the case. When I started dancing, I was private about it, as were many of the women I danced with. I had no interest in filling out forms that would give the club — and potentially government authorities — detailed personal information about myself.

Strippers get naked and dance for our customers. It’s a sensitive profession. As independent contractors, we can perform when, where, how and for whom we want. If we are classified as employees, club managers would be empowered to dictate those conditions. Employers might require us to give free nude performances for customers we don’t feel comfortable with. These are highly personal decisions and the power to make them should be exclusively in the hands of dancers.

Finally, employment status is incompatible with the business model of exotic dancing. The successful strippers I know are industrious entrepreneurs. We move from club to club, going where the money is best. Many dancers are raising kids, attending school, or engaged in some other demanding pursuit, and we need to be able to work when we want, where we want, making reliable money paid at the end of each shift. That’s the way it has always worked — until now in California, that is.

The aspirations of strippers seeking strong workplace protections and good benefits are sincere and legitimate, but forcing all dancers to become employees is not the answer. In a state that increasingly relies on independent contractors, be they drivers, caregivers or strippers, we need to find new ways to ensure that all workers, regardless of whether they are employees, have access to health insurance and strong workplace safety protections.

People tend to snicker and blush when talking about strippers. I get it. Sexy is literally in our job description. But the employment status issue is no laughing matter. These are real people, mothers and students — young women seeking to earn a decent living while remaining independent.

Sacramento needs to pass legislation to undo the damage imposed by the Dynamex standard on exotic dancers. There have undoubtedly been cases in which companies of all types have abused independent contractors. But not all independent contractors are exploited and not all wish to be employees. We need legislation that will allow workers to continue working as independent contractors if they choose.

Read the full story at Stormy Daniels: Strippers need to be treated as freelancers, not employees – Los Angeles Times

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