An anonymous former employee recently filed a lawsuit against Andrew Sasson's Light Group, one of the largest nightclub operators in Las Vegas, alleging that she and her fellow waitresses were plied with drugs and booze and were expected to have sex with customers in order to be given the prime shifts and tables at the various Light Group clubs. The lifestyle and working conditions described in the lawsuit (warning: PDF) are even worse than what was described when we first went inside the Sad World Of Nightclub Bottle Girls, and depicts a world where young, attractive girls feel pressured to live up to extreme standards of success or be threatened with termination or humiliation. How?
According to Jane Doe's claims:
· The use of cocaine was not only condoned by management, it was encouraged.What a great place to work! In its defense, the Light Group issued the following statement, saying, "the Light Group sympathizes with the difficult circumstances that result from substance abuse for the abuser and the family. It is never advisable to discuss legal matters outside of court, however the outrageous accusations made in this case require a strong and clear response: These allegations are completely untrue and will be proven so through the legal system."
· Bottle waitresses were subjected to nightly boob checks by managers, and were required to maintain a certain appearance to get the best shifts at work.
· Female employees were encouraged to drink, do drugs and sleep with both celebrity and big spending customers.
· Girls were flown to other cities like Los Angeles to see if they would sleep with VIP's there, thus proving themselves as "company girls"
· The Light Group's marketing/training program taught employees how to sexually touch customers and not respond negatively to being inappropriately touched by VIP's.
· Following the overdose death of a friend and coworker, Jane Doe requested help from the Light Group and wound up getting scheduled for a full weekend of work. She soon had her own overdose.
While the allegations of partying in Las Vegas nightclubs is hardly surprising, the alleged depravity permeating through the company hierarchy certainly is. And for every server that complains about the working conditions, there does seem to be a never-ending supply of customers and people who are lured to these jobs for the party, money and access to fame.
So, you ask, will this lawsuit change anything and how does this matter to New York? Besides putting a dent in the corporate coffers of the Light Group or a new mandatory training policy from the hotels that host these clubs, the answer is most likely no. But maybe it will make the customer reconsider the notion that their $2000 bill entitles them to maul the girl who brings it to him.
As for New York, while the clubs here offer a similar type of experience and "service" to what one could find in Las Vegas, there is not the same 24/7 anything goes vibe that permeates a weekend in Vegas. However, Rachel Uchitel and every other story proves that these whales who come to spend money do expect more than just a bottle of Patron and a sparkler. What's amazing is that these businesses would risk everything on the hope that no one would ever come after them for these alleged work conditions and illegal activity. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
· I-Team: Nightclub Worker Alleges Abuse in Lawsuit [8NewsNow]
· 1 OAK Lawsuit Threatens Bottle Service Forever [~ENY~]
· Inside the Sad World Of Nightclub Bottle Girls [~ENY~]