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Raided Hostess Club May Have Used Illegal Employment Terms

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, November 15, 2010, at 07:00PM
Club 907 Eric Richardson [Flickr]

LAPD officers stand outside the front door of Club 907 during a November 5 operation that resulted in 88 arrests.

According to interviews conducted by the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the Downtown hostess club raided by police this month used employment terms that amount to exploitation.

The group has conducted interviews with more than thirty employees of Club 907, which was the subject of a LAPD operation on the night of November 5. 88 individuals were arrested, most female employees of the club who were charged with using counterfeit documents for employment.

"We are convinced that women hostesses were victims of exploitation by their employer, the 907 Club, and should receive protection and support from local and federal authorities and not face deportation," said Angelica Salas, executive director of the immigrant rights group in a statement issued Monday.

Hostesses interviewed by the group reported that they were required to earn $600 per week for the club, the equivalent of roughly 20 hours dancing with a patron. Those who met the quota were paid 19 cents per minute earned, or $228 per week. Those who did not meet their quota were paid only 16 cents per minute earned and were required to make up their under-quota amount out-of-pocket.

The group reported the following findings from its interviews:

  • Each hostess was required to work a weekly amount of $600, which amounted to 1,200 minutes. Patrons pay $30 an hour to dance with a hostess. This weekly quota determined their weekly pay.
  • Hostesses who met the minimum quota were paid nineteen cents a minute or $228 a week regardless of how many hours it took to meet the minimum quota. Hostesses who did not meet the minimum quota were paid only sixteen cents per each minute and were required to make up the difference out of pocket.
  • Dancers who “owed” credits had to first offset the debt with the establishment before they could receive their next paycheck.
  • Water, drinks or food from the outside were forbidden. Hostesses were required to buy water and food at the establishment.
  • If a patron left the facility without paying, the hostess was responsible for the unpaid tab.
  • Hostesses were responsible for their own security if they did not wish to be touched or fondled by a patron. Although tolerating sexual advances by patrons was not encouraged by management, hostesses who did received preferential treatment, including better shifts.

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