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February 10, 2017

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction in Deja Vu Case

LOS ANGELES—A federal judge in Michigan has granted a preliminary injunction in the case of Doe 1 v. Deja Vu Consulting, agreeing to suspend more than a dozen wage-and-hour lawsuits that allege the gentlemen's club chain Deja Vu misclassifies dancers as independent contractors. The stay on Thursday came two days after U.S. District Judge Stephen J. Murphy gave a preliminary OK to a $6.5 million settlement that would cover more than 45,000 dancers at 64 clubs across the country, according to Law360. Murphy is now considering whether the settlement is fair, temporarily halting litigation in the ongoing case that has moved through several state and federal courts. The order also enjoins all proceedings against Deja Vu pending the approval of the settlement.“The injunction serves the public interest because it will bring finality to the dispute, eliminate the risk of duplicative proceedings, decrease the cost of litigation, eliminate the risk of conflicting results and allow the parties to implement the negotiated class-wide settlement,” Judge Murphy wrote in the order. Attorneys for both sides did not immediately respond to request for comment at post time.The litigation began in 2008 when an unidentified dancer at a Michigan club run by CinLan Inc. alleged she and dancers at eight other CinLan clubs in Michigan were misclassified as independent contractors in court documents. Deja Vu Consulting was also named in that suit as a joint employer with CinLan. In 2011, Deja Vu and CinLan agreed to settle those claims for $11.3 million. But the legal maneuvering continued when a different Jane Doe filed a class action in the Eastern District. That suit alleged Deja Vu misclassifies its dancers as independent contractors despite exercising significant control over their day-to-day work, Law360 reported. She was subsequently granted leave to file a second amended complaint expanding her suit to cover a nationwide class spanning 64 Deja Vu locations. That amended complaint has not yet been filed.A fairness hearing will be held on June 6.

 
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