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By Emily Welker, ewelker@forumcomm.com, Published January 17 2013

Strip club settles suit filed by dancers

FARGO – A group of dancers have settled their federal lawsuit against Fargo’s only strip club after alleging the company that owns it failed to pay them more than $188,000 in minimum wage, overtime and so-called “house fees.”

The dancers’ attorney, Leo Wilking of Fargo’s Wilking Law Firm, confirmed the case has been resolved by a settlement, but he said he couldn’t comment on the details of the deal – including how much money the dancers will get in the settlement – because of the agreement’s “strong confidentiality clause.”

Court filings say the settlement was reached Jan. 8. The lawsuit was filed in December 2011 in U.S. District Court in Fargo.

The dancers, who include Heidi Current of Fargo, Tara Hester of Minneapolis, and La’Krystal Jackson of Eden Prairie, Minn., alleged in their lawsuit against Ferny Properties LLC that they were owed money for shifts they’d worked at Fargo’s The Northern Gentlemen’s Club between 2008 and 2011.

The attorney representing Ferny didn’t return a phone message seeking comment.

The dancers’ suit alleged the company violated federal law in failing to pay them minimum wage and by taking part of their fees for performances in the club’s VIP room.

It also claimed that each dancer was required to pay fees to work a shift, some of which was distributed to other employees, such as bouncers.

The dancer also said in the civil complaint that they were fined $100 for arriving late or leaving early for a shift, and that the company did not keep a record of the hours the dancers worked.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541