Centre County strip club withheld wages and tips from dancers, lawsuit alleges

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A proposed class-action lawsuit filed Thursday claimed a Centre County strip club withheld wages, tips and other money owed to dancers.

Former Rebelz dancer Briana Harris, of Mifflin County, accused owners Heather and Pablo Varando of violating “basic federal and state labor laws.”

Mandatory deductions of wages and tips were illegally diverted to the business to subsidize their labor costs for other workers, like security staff and DJs, attorney James Goodley wrote in the 17-page lawsuit.

Dancers retained “far less” than 50% of their customer compensation after the deductions were applied, Goodley wrote. More than 60 women danced at the club in the past three years.

“On multiple occasions, dancers complained to Heather Varando that they had been shorted tips and suffered from illegal deductions from their tips,” Goodley wrote. “In response, Heather either ignored the complaints or took disciplinary action against dancers who raised these complaints by reducing their work shifts or firing them.”

Goodley declined comment Friday. Attempts to reach the business were unsuccessful.

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