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Former Dancer Awarded $88K in Lawsuit Against Wichita Falls Strip Club – Legal Reader

A former topless dancer recently won an $88,000 judgement in a lawsuit against a Wichita Falls strip club.
A woman who filed a lawsuit against a Wichita Falls strip club recently won a judgment. The woman is Sarah Lynn Johnson, 29. After suing the Bombshells’ Topless club in federal court, she was awarded $88,425 in her labor lawsuit. According to the suit, Johnson alleged David A. Brooks, the owner of the club, and his company, North Texas Dancers, “wrongly classified her and other female dancers as independent contractors.”

Gavel resting on open book; image by verkeorg, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.As a result of not being classified as an employee, she “did not receive hourly wages…plus she had to pay a house fee for each shift.” Because of that, the suit argued the club violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In a May 24, 2021 judgment, Johnson was awarded $44,212.50 for unpaid wages, along with another $44,212.50 for damages.  
In addition to suing Brooks, Johnson also sued North Texas Dancers in a Wichita Falls federal court. What’s the backstory, though? How long was Johnson at the club before she sued? Well, according to the suit, she began working for the club around May 2014 until March 2020. During that time, she also worked at the “company’s after-hours strip club, located at the same property and called The Alibi or Vudu Lounge,” according to court documents.
The suit claimed that “not only did North Texas Dancers fail to pay wages for hours worked, but the company also required them to hand over a house fee or kickback ranging from $20 to $50 for each shift to the owner or management.” As part of her suit, Johnson was seeking minimum wages along with attorney fees, court costs, and other damages.
Soon after the suit was filed, Mark Barber, the attorney representing Brooks, withdrew his representation when Brooks refused to “cooperate in his own defense.” After Barber left, Brooks “failed to hire a new lawyer, so on April 2, U.S. Judge Reed O’Connor directed Johnson to ask for a judgment, which he granted.”
The club and Brooks weren’t the only entities Johnson had her sights set on for legal justice. She also has issues with Jeff Lyde, the Clay County Sheriff. According to court records, “Lyde is accused of intentionally jailing Johnson and her boyfriend, 33-year-old Landon Paul Goad, for over 48 hours without a finding of probable cause from a magistrate.” Lyde was eventually indicted by a Clay County grand jury on “two charges of official oppression,” despite maintaining his innocence. In fact, he blamed a “local magistrate for the situation that led to Johnson and Goad’s overlong stay in jail without probable cause findings.”
Sources:
Woman at center of Clay County sheriff’s controversy wins lawsuit against Wichita Falls topless bar
Clay County Sheriff’s Center Controversy Wins Trial of Wichita Falls Dance Club

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