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Court weighs in on debate over contractors and workers' comp

As much as people try not to, judgment gets passed around from time to time. This is especially true in the workplace where some occupations are considered more prestigious than others. Take for example exotic dancing. Most people turn up their noses at people who choose this profession, oftentimes claiming that they should not receive the same employee rights as other occupations.

The negative stigma attached to exotic dancing doesn't just foster disdain from the general public but it can create legal issues as well. Take for example the case of LeAndra Lewis vs. L.B. Dynasty Inc. where an exotic dancer who had been injured while on the job was denied workers' compensation benefits because she was considered an independent contractor in the state of South Carolina.

Even though the case took place far from residents here in Ohio, it raised important questions about how the state views contractors and whether they should be afforded workers' compensation benefits if they become injured during the course of employment.

These questions were raised yet again in Nevada this month when the state's Supreme Court ruled in favor of several dancers who argued that their performances were integral to business for one particular club, which should qualify them as employees and therefore eligible for minimum wage and workers' compensation benefits. The state Supreme Court agreed, reversing a lower court decision that remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings.

Although this case and the case of the South Carolina dancer both occurred in different states that are governed by different laws than here in Ohio, they do highlight an issue that could easily arise here in our state as well. Just like any other employee here in our state, exotic dancers may have the same concerns about their employment rights and questions about accessing benefits in the event that they suffer a work-related injury.

In the end, they too may need to seek the help of an attorney to answer their legal questions, especially if they intend on appealing a denied claim.

Source: Business Insurance, "OFF BEAT: Court rules Vegas exotic dancers are due workers comp, less skimpy pay," Nov. 4, 2014

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