What is there for strippers to do regarding the Coronavirus? Even though we are being misclassified, illegally, we might add, we still have rights and ways to access resources. However, we are not in a strong position like other employees because we still have a lot of groundwork to do. If anything, this crisis reveals just how important it is for us to have more rights. See some resources below.
Check out more information on this chart made by Labor & Workforce Development Agency.
Read this Q&A by the Department of Industrial Relations.
Another FAQ by Legal Aid at Work
On Friday, March 13, 2020, we were on a large conference call with the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency. We learned somethings and have them listed below. The call was a lot about how employees can file claims and that waiting periods have been waived. They talked about how Independent Contractors can file claims, but we all know that will take time. Before they ended the call, (which had close to 500 people on it) we butted in, interrupted and insisted that they think of California strippers during this time. That not only are you losing money due to the economy, but that you lose even more when you can’t break even to cover house fees, etc. We are emailing them as well and doing everything we can to get the best information to you. Our goal is to find ways to tap into resources that may be available. See info below of what we learned on that call.
- Paid sick leave: Because dancers are employees, they have a right to paid sick leave. Paid sick days start to accrue as soon as dancers start working and they should be able to use them after 90 days working for a club. Dancers can take paid sick days if they are sick, if they think they might be sick, or if they’re caring for someone else who is sick. Also, they can’t be retaliated against for taking their paid sick days.
- Unemployment Insurance: If the club shuts down or dancers’ hours are reduced, they can file for unemployment insurance. Also, if dancers can’t work because their kids are out of school and they don’t have childcare, they can apply for UI. As we discussed at one of the meetings, applying is easier if the employer has been treating them as employees, but dancers have a right to unemployment benefits even if the club hasn’t been classifying them correctly. It’s only up to $450 per week, but the normal 1-week waiting period has been waived. They can a claim with EDD: https://www.edd.ca.gov/claims.htm. Also, there may be disaster unemployment insurance available as things develop.
- Disability Insurance: If dancers do get sick, they can apply for Disability Insurance. They can file a claim with EDD as well: https://www.edd.ca.gov/claims.htm
- Other benefits: The state has other benefit programs that may help. There’s a handy chart that the LDWA put together: https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/#chart
Here are more resources for you to check.
From Legal Aid at Work: https://legalaidatwork.org/factsheet/coronavirus-faq/
From the Employment Development Department (EDD): https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
From the Labor Commissioner: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.htm