For this article I am quoting from TMZ, not my favorite article but they were the ones who broke this story. As someone who advocates for the legalization of prostitution I do keep up with the industry news. When I read this I had to write a blog on this.
I won't link her profile at the Moonlight BunnyRanch due to Terms of Service for Blogger and AdSense but I will be linking one of her MySpace pictures here. Just remember guys, regardless of her profession, she is a lady. Please treat her as one.
Essentially Dennis Hof and Jimi Lynn entered into a contract where she agreed to pay 50 percent of her prostitution wages plus rent for the room ($25 per day) Although not stated by TMZ prostitutes are usually charged for food and other necessities. Such deals are common in the brothel industry. Due to the high cost of regulation only wealthy people can open up brothels and to pay for the expense these deals are common.
My ideal situation would be to open the industry up to more competition, lower the license fees and allow supply and demand to bring down the price not only for their services but also for more ladies to open their own businesses. A reasonable license to pay for inspections regarding health and sanitation of the ladies and the rooms is all that is needed.
However at the issue here is two things. One is regarding gifts. According to the contract, which Jami Lynn entered into, and may be legally bound by, she must hand over half of all gifts to the brothel. Although not specified by TMZ one would assume in the case of tangible gifts the value of the item would be split in two. The other is the right to half of the income Jami Lynn would generate off campus.
Let me address the second part first. It could be argued that Jimi Lynn would not be able to market herself as a prostitute outside of the Moonlight Bunnyranch Brothel. The brothel is famous world wide for it's participation in HBO reality TV as well as the many appearances of Dennis Hof on TV and Radio. Sure there is Backpage.com but that doesn't compete with the prestige of being affiliated with the Bunnyranch brothel.
The closest I can come up with this is what is called a Non-compete clause in the contract. The courts in Nevada have ruled both in favor of reasonable restrictions and against unreasonable restrictions. Jimi Lynn the independent was essentially competing against Jimi Lynn the Moonlight Bunnyranch girl. However a new question arises when you consider that the prostitutes at the Bunnyranch are independent contractors and it says so on their website. As independent contractors each girls sets her own rates (with half of it going to the house).
Were Jimi Lynn an employee of the Bunnyranch this would be an open and shut case, however it is not. As long as she paid for her room and board, participated in the lineups when customers entered into the door and reported for duty on time, in my opinion what Jimi Lynn does on her own time is her own business. The burden would be on Dennis Hof to prove that Jimi Lynn used his brothel as a means to recruit customers for herself off campus. From what I have read this is not the case. This lawsuit was brought about over one angry customer who realized he spent 300,000 on a prostitute. DERP!
Now on to the first part of the lawsuit. Dennis Hof wants to be paid half of the value of the $300,000 in gifts and travel that was spent on Jimi Lynn. I have no idea if this is in his standard contracts that he has with the ladies who work there, I hope it isn't. If I give roses to my favorite prostitute I want to know that I am not COSTING her 20 dollars that she has to pay in cash to the house because I spent $40 on roses.
Bringing a gift to a prostitute is a way to gain their favor, they tend to spend a little more time with you and not rush you so much. The thought that my gifts were in fact costing the ladies money is simply bad publicity and as more people find out about it sensible lads would never bring a gift to a lady ever again.
I was equally disgusted when I found out that many fine dining establishments have the serving staff share their tips with the salaried employees. In my opinion their should not be an exception to the minimum wage but certainly one who lives on tips should not have to share them with those who don't. I am equally disgusted at restaurants who pool their tips and split them up at the end of the week. A good server will wind up supporting the slackers. It isn't right.
When I give a tip, I give it to the person I want it to go towards. I don't want it to be split up or put into a pool. If I give a gift I don't want it to wind up costing someone real money to accept it.
Sadly most waiter and waitress jobs are held by those with little or no power to change things. Their job can be easily replaced with another body. Note: I am not saying that serving is an unskilled job and that anybody can do it. In fact I hold quite the opposite view. To be a great server takes a rare trait in physical endurance, personality, memory, problem solving, and speed. All I am merely stating is that many managers would rather fire and replace a good worker rather than doing what it takes to retain a good worker.
The prostitutes in the brothels are in no better shape. With so few places in the United states where prostitution is legal, the ladies have limited options on where to work, as such the house holds all the cards. There is no shortage of applicants trying to get into the business. What needs to happen is for the free market to take hold of this industry and bring about lower costs and innovation.
Until then I can only hope Dennis Hof reads this and does what is right. Allow the ladies to keep their gifts and their tips. There is nothing wrong with house fees, but as independent contractors you can not control what these ladies do in their personal life. You most likely will win at least part of your lawsuit, you have better lawyers than most can afford. However is this how you want to be known? Suing a lady because she received gifts that were intended for HER and not you?