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Dancers must opt in if they want to participate in a lawsuit against a Bedford Park club that they say stripped them of their wages. This according to a ruling issued in US District Court under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which allows their suit to proceed as a collective action that can be joined by those who worked at the club but did not sign the original petition. Justice Virginia Kendall granted conditional certification to the collective action by workers at the Ocean Gentlemen’s Club, denying a motion by owners to dismiss the suit.

Debra Diaz and Seif al Sharif claim not to have violated FLSA rules and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law when collecting fees from the women for using their facility to entertain a tipping clientele. The eight women filing the suit say they were hired as contractors but that the pair subjected them to a strict employment regime that included long hours and financial penalties, in addition to the failure to pay hourly and overtime rates. In making her ruling, Kendall cited case law in implementing the FSLA codicil that allows dancers that worked the club dating to 2015 to seek redress in federal court.