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Strippers Granted Unemployment in Kansas: ‘Strip Club Workers Are Employees' Rules State Supreme Court

By Jesse Lent | February 07, 2013 01:28 PM EST

Unemployed strip club workers across Kansas are sitting pretty today after a state Supreme Court ruling has determined strippers are eligible for unemployment benefits as employees.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that strip club rules barring physical contact and setting minimum rates for lap dances amounted to a workplace code of conduct.

The ruling was the result of a 2005 unemployment claim filed by a dancer at Club Orleans in Topeka. When the club balked on shelling out unemployment cash to one of their former strippers, the Kansas Department of Labor took them to court.

Michael Merriam, an attorney for Milano's, the operating company for Club Orleans for over a decade, told ABC that the case "was incorrectly decided."

"The court relied almost entirely on the fact that we had some house rules which were requested by the dancers," Merriam said. "They were designed to keep everything legal. And the court relied on that fact alone to say we had control over them and that made them employees."

He says the strip club does not plan to appeal the decision.

"This is the Kansas Supreme Court. This is where it ends," he said.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Labor disagreed, saying it is a simple case of applying the law to everyone.

"All decisions concerning unemployment are based on the applicable law and the specific facts of each case," she said.

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