The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously voted to strengthen protections for adult-entertainment workers, the culmination of a yearslong effort to improve conditions and employment practices in the city's strip clubs.
Under the new ordinance, adult businesses will be required to give workers copies of their contracts, post rules for costumer conduct and workers' rights, and prohibit retaliation against workers who report violations. Managers and owners will be prohibited from taking tips from entertainers, and entertainers will be provided security escorts when leaving after a shift.
The ordinance also seeks to improve sanitary and safety conditions by following standard cleaning procedures, clearing tripping hazards and having security cameras everywhere entertainers interact with customers.
The council also directed the city to create a work group of entertainers and other industry representatives to continue making recommendations for necessary materials and notices regarding their work conditions.
A push for new regulations gained momentum in 2017, when city inspectors found bodily fluids in 11 of the city's 17 adult businesses, according to city records. A University of Minnesota report detailed the troubling working conditions of adult performers, including physical and sexual assault and examples of wage theft.
Council members on Friday said the new ordinance was a recognition of adult entertainers in the city.
"In the past, I don't know that the work that strippers, that adult entertainers, put into the city has been valued as work," said Council Member Jeremiah Ellison. "I think that this changes that."
Council Member Linea Palmisano, who co-wrote the ordinance with council colleague Cam Gordon, said she was proud that developing the rules was "an empowering conversation for workers."
"Workers deserve to be safe," she said. "These actions that we look to take now give the city more enforcement in these establishments, and we hope that they also help workers have more respectful and honored relationships with the establishments they work in."