FILE - Minneapolis

Downtown Minneapolis

The Minneapolis city council unanimously passed ordinances last week that heightened protections for adult entertainers. 

The ordinances, which await Mayor Jacob Frey’s signature, follow 2017 health inspector reports of unsanitary conditions at 11 of 17 venues, Minneapolis Public Radio reported.

Minneapolis Councilman Cam Gordon told The Center Square that council members met with University of Minnesota officials, entertainers, and business owners to craft the ordinance.

Gordan said the ordinances require owners to give workers copies of their contract and prohibited owners from taking workers’ tips and retaliating against workers who report violations.

State law prohibits managers from taking tips from employees, but Gordon said that law doesn’t specify terms regarding independent contractors.

Gordon said that most workers are essentially independent contractors in the venues’ current economic model that requires workers to tip out to managers, owners and security.

Gordon said he had heard industry worker complaints that some never saw or were given a contract.

“It’s required there be some visibility of VIP space so security can see what’s going on and respond to calls for help because we heard complaints about ‘If I don’t tip out enough, I don’t get enough security when I need it.’”

A University of Minnesota report detailed concerns with these venues' pay and incentive structure.

“Entertainers pay a significant portion of their earnings back to the club in the form of house fees, tips, and fines,” the report said.

“The business operational structures of the club related to pricing, entertainers’ payout, and VIP spaces interplay as a powerful push factor to do more sexual services for less money,” the report said.

“We’ve made it so managers and owners, even if they’re offered a tip, they may not accept a tip from any of the entertainers or people who work in the establishment,” Gordon said.

Gordon, who was confident that Frey will sign the bill, said the ordinances require owners to provide information about harassment, discrimination, and customer expectations.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.