A former dancer at BJ Roosters says the go-go boy bar owes him back pay for years of not paying him minimum wage and overtime, and for charging him excessive fees, even when he tried to call in sick.
The dancer has helped ensnare the gay club into a growing set of federal lawsuits facing straight adult dance clubs across metro Atlanta. Attorneys are seeking to turn the lawsuits into a class action suit. The unidentified dancer told WSB that to dance at the bar, he was paid in tips and required to pay fees.
“A fee for being late, a fee for not dancing enough, if I was sick, and couldn’t come to work one night, I had to pay a $35 fee for that,” he said.
Bobby Hamill, a BJ's co-owner, told WSB that the bar has done nothing wrong.
“BJ Roosters is a properly licensed bar and restaurant that provides food, drink, and entertainment to its patrons. It is emphatically not a "strip club.” DJs provide music, and dancers perform in costumes, which they do not remove. Roosters believes every aspect of its business, including its employment practices and policies, complies with all relevant laws.”
But Anthony Collins, an attorney for the former BJ's dancer, charges that dancers at clubs including BJ's are violating the federal minimum wage provision of the Federal Labor Standards Act.
“Not only are they not being paid overtime, they are not being paid minimum wage, and in fact they are having to pay their employer for the privilege of coming in,” said Anthony Collins, who is an attorney on the case.