HR Strange But True!
April 06, 2006

Strippers in Australia may have mastered another timeless art: negotiating workplace rights and benefits that many workers in the United States could envy.

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission awarded the Striptease Artists Australia union a set of new workplace rules. The following are some of the rules the commission established for unionized workers at strip clubs.

  • Employees are entitled to be absent from work on 10 public holidays without loss of pay.
  • Employers must give employees performing striptease, erotic dancing, tabletop or podium dancing at least 30 minutes between the end of one performance and the start of another performance.
  • Employees are entitled to overtime pay when they work in excess of their normal work hours during a week. The overtime rate is one-and-a-half times the worker's regular rate of pay for the first two hours of overtime and double the regular rate of pay for the rest of the overtime performed. The maximum length of any one shift is 10 hours.
  • Except in cases of serious misconduct, employers must give employees notice before termination. The amount of notice depends on the employee's length of service.
  • Employees are entitled to four weeks' annual leave after every 12 months of continuous service.
  • After twelve months continuous service, parents are entitled to a combined total of 52 weeks unpaid parental leave.
  • Employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers because of their race, color, sex, sexual orientation, union membership, marital status, religion, political opinion, nationality, social origin, physical appearance, age, tattoos, body piercing, or hair color.

"We've got rights to have public holiday pay now, which we've never had in our career before," union spokesperson Mystical Melody told "We've got rosters and set hours. We can't work more than 10 hours a shift. There's overtime after that, and we've never had overtime before. We've got set rest periods as well, and when to have breaks, and meal breaks."

HR Strange But True! readers may remember that the one unionized strip club in the United States is the Lusty Lady in San Francisco.

Sources: and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission

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