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Atlanta has long been considered one of America’s strip club capitals. The city’s booming strip club industry brings in millions of dollars every year, but how much of that money actually goes to the dancers who work in the clubs?

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Exotic dancers are employed at most clubs as independent contractors, not full-time workers, and must pay a fee to dance. The rule lets clubs get away with not paying employment taxes, not complying with discrimination laws and not offering benefits such as health care or retirement plans. As a result, dancers do not qualify for unemployment benefits.

A former stripper turned film director is on a mission to change these rules. Sonja worked as a stripper in three states for 15 years and is working on a documentary called “License to Pimp,” CNN Money reports.

There is evidence the tide is already turning. Last month, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that dancers at Club Orleans in Topeka were employees rather than contractual workers. The ruling granted them the right to collect unemployment insurance.

Also, last November strippers at the Spearmint Rhino chain in California won a $13 million settlement in a federal court class action case that granted them employee status.

Could Atlanta be next? Do you think strippers should have labor rights and not have to pay to dance?

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