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SH sanasoimconat oe February 2, 2018 Via Electronic Mail & US. Mai ‘The Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors clo Ann Silver, Chief Executive Officer 449 South Virginia Street #200 Reno, NV 89501 Re: Reno Area Strip Clubs Dear Ms, Silver and Members of the Board Jam Jason D. Guinasso, Esq. withthe law firm of Hutchison & Steffen. Our firm has consulted with several ‘women who are dancers at Reno area strip clubs who have complained of unlawful employment practices and illegal activities at these establishments. Presently, my law firm is engaged in an investigation into the allegations of the women who have come forward te share their experiences working in Reno area strip clubs. This investigation has unearthed credible and ‘widespread examples of mistreatment, abuse and exploitation of women at the hands of strip elub owners, employees and clients that I think the Chamber should be aware ofa it considers whether itis going to continue te allow and support strip clubs to continue to operate at places in our community where they are not in conformance with current zoning and land use restrictions. ‘Through interviews with current and former dancers, our investigation uncovered instances of young women boeing compelled to provide sexual favors and being instructed - against their will - to “do anything” that VIP trons wanted. In addition, they found examples of elub managers recruiting dancers to help sell and distribute illegal drugs within the strip club. Furthermore, tip clubs allow dancers to he “bought-out” and taken offsite by patrons as “dates” or “escorts.” ‘This is illegal on two levels, as neither clubs nor dancers are licensed to provide escort services. Our investigation also found that younger, less experienced dancers are often taken advantage of and abused by owners, managers ‘and patrons. Clubs take litle or no action to prevent abuse or assaults on dancers and rarely contact police, if ever, when they occur. This i especially true ifthe patron is a “VIP.” The Reno-Sparks Caner of Commerce Baad of Directors brary 2, 2018, page 2 Dubious contractual practices also appear to be rampant throughout Reno's strip clubs: newly-hired dancers are ‘banned fiom consulting with attorneys, barred from retaining copies oftheir contracts and bereft of any process allowing them to enforee the provisions oftheir contracts. In other words, although their contracts may state that touching or sex acts are not allowed, management fils to enforce such rules. Instead, elubs punish dancers who attempt to avoid engaging in these acts by refering them to lower paying clientele, thereby rewarding dancers who are willing to be touched and participate in sexual acts ‘by matching them with higher paying clients. Although considered “independent contractors” by the club owners, dancers cannot dictate their own hours and fare assessed penalties and fines when taking breaks or leaving the building during shifts as well as when they leave early ot show up late, Many strip clubs also present health hazards to these women due to unsanitary cenltons and improperly cleaned surfaces covered in bodily fluids and other substances In my professional opinion as an attorney who is licensed to practice law in both the State of Nevada and California, the foregoing examples mest the legal definition of unlawful conduct, including breach of contract, misclasification of employees as independent contractors, violations of various criminal and state laws regarding terms and conditions of employment, health and safety. Please see the attached Exhibit “A” fora bullet pointed summary of what we were fold by the women during our investigation. Please note that dozens of women have contacted me, but most of them have been afaid tht the owners and managers of the stip clubs will retaliate against them for telling ther stories and asserting their rights [None of these findings should come as a surprise, as these practices have been well-known throughout the ‘community for years. This isthe second recent investigation that indiates legal activity in Reno's strip clubs. Continued silence or inaction should be considered as complicity in light of these abhorrent examples of ‘mistreatment, abuse and exploitation of young women right here in our community. The time is now forthe City ‘of Reno to withdraw its support of strip clubs and to refrain from providing said businesses with zoning variances. As ous city evolvesit is our duty to attract and maintain the type of eommerce that will help guide Reno towards ‘future in which our city's businesses both provide positive and constructive opportunities for its residents while simultaneously mocting a key need in today's business market. m m ms mw mw The Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commer Bord of Directors February 2, 2018, page3 The Downtown and Midtown districts are the heart of our community, and the home to legal, professional and cultural institutions that are a reminder of what Reno is and what Reno can be. ‘We can no longer actively promote any businesses within these areas that fil to represent the vision of Reno that we collectively share, espeially ~as echoed countless times by many members ofthe Board - any businesses engaged inilicit activity IDGibe ‘The Reno Sparks Chamber of Camere Board of Diectues brary 2 2018, paged EXHIBIT A, ‘SUMMARY FINDINGS REGARDING INVESTIGATION INTO TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT OF RENO AREA STRIP CLUB DANCERS + Some of the dancers, particularly younger dancers, who have been interviewed forthe job have been wiesel being whol ur enupellel Wo provide sexual favors; + When dancers are offered ajo, the dancers are force to siga a contact drafted by the step club atthe time of hie and they are not permitted to () consult with an attorey concerning the contract terme, (i) offer any revisions to the eottractor i) otherwise negotiate the terms and conditions oftheir eontraet for employment; 4 The dancers are prokibited from taking a copy ofthe contract out ofthe club or otherwise keeping copy ofthe contract for thei records; ‘© There is no processor procure for the dancers w enfres the provisions oftheir contacts, such asthe “no touching or sex acts” provisions, because the strip club owners don't consistently enforce the elub rules andor the contractual rights ofthe dancers Dancers who alempt oenfore rules and provisions of ther contact with respect to “no touching or sex ‘sae either systematically terminated or punished by ot being refered higher paying customers ‘+ Although the dancers are called “independent contractors” by the club owners, they are reated like employees? + Datoers fe not permitted to take breaks or leave the building once thee shi starts without being assessed a fine o penalty; '* Money received for various services by the club is not paid to the dancers in full; There i no accountng system that allows dancers to verify how much they ae being paid; ‘Dancers are assessed fines and penalties for such things as showing up at, leaving early, buy out et “The cls donot provide workers’ comp coverage forthe dancers; ‘The club is not clean and otherwise presents several health hazards*; ‘A anager at club conitls sale of illegal drugs and has rcruited some ofthe dancers to help distribute and el drugs, ‘Clube allow dancers to be “bought-ou and taken from the cub ns “tes” or escorts * Managers sparety know which gi wl allow inappropriate oochng andor ex ss an il fund igh paying estomers to dancers wing beak the nies and wll no une! hgh paying ctsiomersto dancers who abide by the contact. For example, the dancer eno ome a go when thy plese; specifically, they ea eave when hey want o leave without being ‘sstse pealy or being “bough out by club usomer Te clo wll sep now fe mney tan itshoud andor ake adantge of dancers who are stacked or dsaented for one rsnon orate or ext, the dsing room in esp lu is eporied o rotnelyod,causig io Hecome damp, cold, ny and ‘contaminated wth one mol: atonal techs adept ar ot sharnpoed or cleaned esl i oly ids and othr ‘nsnitay substances to accumulate on he oes and Fait Clube weno iensed sco sevice dancers oot ave Tice to sel escort sev, ‘The Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors February 22018, pape 5 ‘© There are instances when club owners or managers instruct the dancers to allow the VIP patron to “do anything” they want; ‘© Clubs are smoke-illed, and the dancers have no way to protect themselves from the smoke-filled environment; ‘© Clubs do not take sufficient actions to protect dancers from being assaulted and do not contact police when assaults occur, especially if the patron is a “VIP” ‘© Dancers are mandated by the club to allow certain VIP's to have free services (ie, free ap dances) and the dancers are not reimbursed by the club for providing this comp tothe VIP; ‘© Younger less experienced dancers are taken advantage of and abused by owner, managers and patrons, ‘The foregoing discoveries fll into three categories of unlawful conduct: (1) breach of contact; (2) violations of. various sia laws regarding terms and conditions of employment, health and safety, and misclessification of employees as independent contractors; and (3) violations of various criminal las,