King of Diamonds might be the world's greatest hip-hop strip club, a place where Floyd Mayweather makes it rain $100,000 in one night and Lil Wayne regularly drops the equivalent of a small European nation's GDP. But some of KOD's strippers say that wealth hasn't filtered down to them. They've sued the club over allegations that they weren't paid wages or overtime.
That fight is still winding its way through court, but in the
That's a no-no, a federal magistrate has now ruled, ordering KOD to stop forcing dancers to sign the agreements. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman ruled that because KOD had "unequivocally" created the new contracts to prevent dancers from joining the ongoing lawsuits, the documents aren't valid.
The agreements were designed, "at least in part, to dissuade entertainers from participating in this civil action," Goodman wrote in his December 31 decision, which was first noted by Courthouse News.
KOD became legendary as the go-to spot in South Florida for rappers and athletes looking for a night of T&A. In addition to offering scores of stages, the club also boasts a tattoo parlor, a
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But KOD was sold to New York investors for $6 million in 2014. That year, the club's management was hit with a proposed
Soon after, KOD began requiring dancers to sign the promise to go to arbitration instead of suing over their wages. The club also filed a motion in federal court asking a judge to compel all dancers to go to arbitration. But Goodman ruled that this request is "clearly coercive and admittedly designed to undermine this litigation."
KOD's lawyer in this case, Atlanta-based Dean Fuchs, didn't immediately respond to New Times' request for comment on the latest ruling. But he hinted to Courthouse News that the club might challenge the ruling, telling the site: "I'm not in the habit of commenting on active cases, particularly before we've had the chance to appeal."