Shakers Studies: FLSA Factor #2

The second factor in determining whether a worker is an employee, under the fair labor standards act, is described as:

"The permanency of the relationship."

When I signed my first contract at Shakers when I first walked into the building, I was informed that I would have to sign another one in a month or so. In addition to the normal contract, Shakers also had dancers sign a specific contract for nights they weren't normally open. Shakers was willing to distribute contracts to dancers whenever one was requested.

The Shakers contract was very specific about how it would expire in a few months time. Dancers at Shakers informed me, several times, that they had to fill out new contracts every so often. Clubs create contracts that expire, to preserve their right to argue that their relationship with the dancers was not permanent. While Shakers preserved this right by including an expiration date on each of their contracts, it could be argued that Shakers kept dancers aboard who did not argue or protest their working conditions, while they banned dancers who gave them problems.

At the end of my time at Shakers, I asked my manager, Dillon Maynard, if I was going to be the only one not getting a job on January first. He wouldn't give me a yes or no answer about any of it or explain much of anything.

If you have worked at Shakers and feel as though you were not allowed back after your contract expired, but other dancers were allowed back, it is entirely possible that you were being misclassified, but that Shakers is hiding behind the ambiguity by using expiring contracts.

Shakers did not want me to be working there, but didn't want to risk firing me. One day after discussing the contracts with my manager Dillon Maynard, the DJ Steven Loe played a bunch of songs about New Year's Day being wonderful. He also played ticking time bomb noises, which he had done before, while staring me down.

It is these kinds of ambiguities and subtleties that Shakers utilized to dance around labor laws conflicting with the way they wanted to run things.