A former Houston dancer and a couple of other Black women have filed a lawsuit against four high-end Houston strip clubs after they were sent home during their assigned shifts on the ground that there were already “too many Black girls” working.
Chanel Nicholson said that besides being sent home during her shift, two of the clubs where she worked also declined to rehire her this summer due to her skin color, Houston Chronicle reported.
The women filed the class action civil rights suit last week against two brothers, Ali and Hassan Davadri, who own the four Houston strip clubs. The strip clubs were identified as Centerfolds Houston, Solid Platinum Cabaret, Splendor Gentlemens Club, and The Cover Girls. This is not the first time the brothers were sued. Another former dancer had filed a case recently for unfair labor practices. The former dancer claimed that she worked at Centerforlds for years, and was only paid in tips.
The lawsuit’s basis is intentional racial discrimination under an 1866 civil rights act, which requires all citizens to have the same legal rights as white citizens to make and enforce contracts. Nicholson seeks damages, including lost wages from the clubs. The woman has been working at the clubs from the age of 18 to 24. Her lawsuit hopes to cover a period beginning in 2017.
She asked for damages, including lost wages, because for numerous times arriving for her assigned shift entirely made-up, shaved, perfumed, having her nails painted, and clothing adjusted for easy removal, she was still asked to go home.
Nicholson noted, “At that time, I would just take it.” However, she said she decided to file a lawsuit as she didn’t feel that anybody should be treated like that. “I look pretty, I smell good, I make sure I do every time. I can’t scrub my skin off,” she said.
Nicholson continued to share she was not the only one who experienced this.
“Every other Black girl I’ve ever danced with has experienced this. We’ve all been through it, but we just deal with it. Any really beautiful Black woman that dances if you see her at a lower-end club it’s because she can’t get in at the high-end one,” she said.
Further, Nicholson said that the bias is possibly based on the rationale that having many Black women working will draw too many Black male customers.
Nicholson now runs a non-profit helping women get medically necessary cosmetic procedures.