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Some strippers in Nevada have filed a $15 million lawsuit against the city of Reno after it banned women below age 21 from working in local gentlemen's clubs.
The eight plaintiffs – between ages 18-21 — claim that banning younger adults from the jobs is a civil rights violation. The women said they're expecting to lose between $50,000 and $100,000 annually over the new law, which they argue amounts to the government taking away their ability to earn a living.
"The argument that those under the age of 21 may be more likely to do bad things when exposed to alcohol and the uncovered breast of a female body simultaneously is not supported by the record," the lawsuit says, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
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A number of underage strippers in Nevada have filed a $15 million lawsuit against the city of Reno after it banned women under the age of 21 from working in strip clubs.<br data-cke-eol="1">
The lawsuit stems from an April decision by the Reno City Council to implement the age restrictions, remove private booths, require brighter lighting and increase the amount of video surveillance in the clubs.
Mark Thierman, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the women, said the city council violated the law when it passed the ordinance without considering a business impact statement that had been prepared by staff. It found that measuring the impact of the new ordinance was too difficult.
Thierman said Reno had that information, but the city's attorney's office asked the council to accept that the new ordinance posed "no significant economic burden" on the clubs.
Strippers in Reno are independent contractors with their own individual business licenses, so their concerns weren't taken into account.
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"Not once did anyone ask about the economic impact on the dancers who were 18 to 21 years of age," the lawsuit said, according to the outlet.
Councilman Devon Reese was fearful of a lawsuit after analyzing the report.
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"So where in the record am I to point to when I am subsequently on the stand in a lawsuit that comes?" Reese asked during a council meeting. "Where is the record that makes that case for the 'no economic impact' or no burden on the businesses? Where is that?"
A written statement by the office of Reno City Attorney Karl Hall said the city "looks forward to responding in court."
"Notwithstanding the allegations made in the [lawsuit], the changes made by city council to update the adult interactive cabaret regulations were measured and thoughtful," the statement said. "The changes comport with state and federal law, and mirror similar regulations in place elsewhere in the state of Nevada and across the United States."
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The lawsuit seeks to be certified as a class-action filing on behalf of all strippers in similar situations, according to the Gazette-Journal.