Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hogan v. Cleveland Ave Restaurant, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

March 26, 2018

JESSICA HOGAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CLEVELAND AVE RESTAURANT INC. d/b/a SIRENS, et al., Defendants.

          Deavers Magistrate Judge.

          OPINION & ORDER

          ALGENON L. MARBLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Buckeye Association of Club Executives and The Owners' Coalition's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 93). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background[1]

         Defendant Cleveland Ave Restaurant, Inc., known as "Sirens" is an adult entertainment club in Columbus, Ohio. (ECF No. 74 at ¶ 2). Defendants F. Sharrak, M. Sharrak, Sullivan, Alkammo, and Nelson are all individuals associated with Sirens (collectively, with Sirens, the "Sirens Defendants"): F. Sharrak directed pay policies and made hiring and firing decisions, M. Sharrak is one of the owners, Sullivan was the General Manager, Alkammo was a part-owner or investor, and Nelson is the director of operations. (Id. at ¶¶ 13-27). The Sirens Defendants employed Plaintiff Jessica Hogan in various roles at different times, including as an exotic dancer, a bartender, a waitress, and a "friction monitor, " which is a security/monitoring function. (Id. at ¶¶ 29, 40). Ms. Hogan alleges that the Sirens Defendants employed a number of unlawful pay practices, including charging her fees when she performed exotic dances for customers, charging her 10% on all customer tips left on credit cards, and requiring her to pay tips to non-tipped employees. (Id. at ¶ 3).

         Additionally, Sirens utilizes a "Tenant System" by which it requires dancers to sign a "Lease Agreement" purporting to establish the dancers as independent contractors or renters/lessees under a lease agreement. (Id. at ¶¶ 1, 45). Thus, Sirens does not pay the dancers any wages, and instead requires them to pay the club "rent" of $50 each night they perform. (Id. at ¶¶ 1, 48). The Lease Agreement also includes a "damages" provision, requiring the dancer to pay $50 for "each lease time" that the dancer misses. (Id. at ¶ 48). Under the agreement, the club owner establishes a "fixed fee for the price of specialty dances" such as private, champagne, and table dances. (Id.). The agreement notes that dancers "may be subjected to advances by customers, to depictions or portrayals of explicit fantasy sexual conduct, or to similar types of behavior, " but purports to require the dancer to submit, "not be offended by such conduct, " and to assume all associated risks. (Id.). Finally, the owner is entitled to "modify, delete or add to any of the conditions contained" in the Lease Agreement "without notice" to the dancer. (Id.).

         Defendants Buckeye Association of Club Executives ("BACE") and the Owners' Coalition ("OC") are the two main Ohio entertainment club industry trade associations. (Id. at ¶ 5). According to the Amended Complaint, BACE and OC are responsible for the use of the Tenant System. (Id. at ¶¶ 5, 36). BACE and OC's member clubs, including Sirens, use the Tenant System pursuant to a mutual understanding and common plan that amounts to an "industry agreement" designed to deny exotic dancers their rightful minimum wages. (Id. at ¶¶ 36, 45).

         B. Procedural History

         On October 6, 2015, Ms. Hogan filed this wage and hour lawsuit as a collective and class action against the Sirens Defendants[2] alleging that their policies and actions violate the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq., ; Article II § 34(a) of the Ohio Constitution; and § 4113.15 of the Ohio Revised Code. (ECF No. 1 at 10-12). On May 19, 2017, Ms. Hogan filed an Amended Complaint, this time adding Defendants BACE and OC. (ECF No. 74). As with the initial Complaint, the Amended Complaint includes collective action and class action allegations against the Sirens Defendants.[3] In addition to the class and collective allegations against the Sirens Defendants, Ms. Hogan brings both statewide collective and statewide class allegations in the Amended Complaint. First, the "Statewide Class Action" is brought against a defendant class encompassing Sirens, BACE, OC, and the BACE[4]-member adult entertainment clubs throughout Ohio that have used and/or are using the Lease Agreement and/or the Tenant System. (Id. at ¶ 73). The "Statewide Plaintiff Class" is defined as:

All persons who performed exotic dancing at any BACE-member adult entertainment club in Ohio within the past six years while subject to the Lease Agreement, the Tenant System, or any similar ruleset.

(Id. at ¶ 75). The "Statewide Defendant Class" is defined as:

All BACE-member adult entertainment clubs and employers in Ohio within the past six years that used and/or are using the Lease Agreement, the Tenant System, or any similar ruleset.

(Id. at ΒΆ 77). Second, a statewide collective action is brought against the same Statewide Defendant Class, on behalf of the "Statewide ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.