Fantasies on 5th loses latest legal battle
An Anchorage strip club lost its latest legal battle this week when the Supreme Court upheld the Alcohol and Beverage Control Board’s decision to not renew its liquor license.
The court issued its opinion on Friday.
The board originally denied Fantasies on 5th its liquor license renewal in July 2016 because it determined that’s what was in the public’s best interest.
Objections to the club’s license renewal came from former employees, the Department of Labor and the Municipality of Anchorage. There were allegations of illegal and unsafe practices, like that employees weren’t paid and weren’t allowed to call 911 in emergencies.
Dancers were classified at contract labor so they just collected tips from customers and were made to pay rent to the business as tenants. The opinion states that, after an investigation, the DOL found “Fantasies’ dancers should have been classified as employees and that ‘thirty or more workers did not receive minimum wage, or any wage, to which they were entitled.’”
The board noted two examples of when employees were told to not call 911 in emergencies. There was no emergency call when a dancer fell on her head from six feet above the floor or when a drunk customer passed out and had seizures.
For several years the club’s lawyers have been fighting to appeal the board’s decision, claiming it was unreasonable to find that the renewal was not in the public’s interest and that the club was denied due process in the case.
The Superior Court upheld the ABC Board’s decision in January 2018; Friday’s Supreme Court opinion affirms that decision.
The state estimates unpaid wages at $500,000 plus liquidated damages, for failure to pay minimum wage.
Fantasies on 5th closed its doors and was listed for sale in 2018. There is no longer a “for sale” or “for lease” sign outside the large building on Fifth Avenue.
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