9 Former Micky’s Employees Sue Gay Bar; Lawyer Goes Public With Graphic Details

Micky's West Hollywood

Ahead of an October trial, the lawyer for nine former Micky’s employees has gone public about a lawsuit filed against the West Hollywood gay bar in July 2011.

The plaintiffs are charging the popular nightclub, known for its male strippers and go-go dancers, with civil rights violations, which include lewd conduct, creating a sexually hostile work environment, racial discrimination and discrimination against heterosexual employees, and labor code violations.

Matthew Krupnick, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit against West Hollywood Boys Town, Inc. (WHBT), owner of Micky’s, provided WEHOville photographic evidence of strippers performing in the nude, strippers openly displaying their penises and masturbating in front of patrons, a stripper walking around with semen on his face and chest, a patron using his finger to penetrate a stripper’s butt, a ring toss game involving a man’s penis and employees pouring shots of liquor down a stripper’s back while a patron licked it from the stripper’s butt.

The civil rights complaint filed under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) contends that employees were forced to work in a sexually hostile environment because hardcore gay pornography played on big-screen TVs throughout the club during working hours. One of the plaintiffs alleges that his roommate was featured in a porn video.

“No one should be required to work in an environment with this going on all around them,” said Krupnick, an employment and personal injury attorney. “As a gay man who fights for the rights of LGBT people, to see gays in a position of such authority and ability abusing that authority and ability in the way the club is doing is offensive to me. I’m motivated to ensure this never happens again in our town.”

Micky’s did not return requests for comment.

The bar also is under state investigation for 14 counts of lewd conduct and two counts of giving away alcoholic beverages, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

The nine plaintiffs – all male, five gay and four straight – worked as bartenders, a security guard and a manager. Two female employees were also initially involved in the suit before dropping out.

Krupnick reports that the straight employees were forced out of their jobs at Micky’s because management didn’t like having heterosexual employees. According to Krupnick, they were told when they started they’d be fine as long as they kept their heterosexuality a secret.

One black employee and one bi-racial employee, both gay, say they were fired because Micky’s owner Michael Niemeyer, didn’t want African-Americans working there. One employee was accused of stealing and exhibiting a “West Hollywood attitude,” according to the lawsuit.

The alleged labor code violations include employees not being given the state-required meal and 10-minute breaks during an eight-hour shift and management falsifying time cards and wrongful termination.

This is not the first lawsuit involving labor code violations filed against Micky’s. Since 2000, the bar has been sued 11 times (not including the current case). Eight of the lawsuits were dismissed. In two, the judges did not award the plaintiff’s any money. In one, Micky’s had to pay a promoter $1,082.

“What differs about this lawsuit is the quantity of people,” said Krupnick who added that all of the plaintiffs approached him about representation.

The lawsuit was initially filed as two separate cases (the four straight employees had a separate suit). Krupnick said Micky’s filed a motion in January 2012 to consolidate the two lawsuits into one.

Another motion to transfer the case from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica was denied. Judge Elizabeth Allen White will preside over the case, which is expected to last 20 days.

Krupnick said he did enter into private mediation with the plaintiffs, which resulted in a settlement offer of less than $100,000.

“My clients respectfully declined that offer,” said Krupnick, who believes the case could carry a $15 million verdict, if not higher, depending on the punitive damages the jury awards.

According to Krupnick, the jury will decide on each case individually, meaning each plaintiff could be awarded a different amount if Micky’s is found liable.

“It’s not OK what’s happening there,” said Krupnick. “The lewd conduct is still going on down there. You can walk by and see it happening from the sidewalk. Why aren’t people talking about what’s going on at Micky’s?”

A longtime fixture on the West Hollywood gay club scene, Micky’s closed in August 2007 after an electrical fire. A rebuilt two-story Micky’s reopened in April 2009. That year, the Micky’s entry in the annual gay pride parade was go-go dancers riding on a fire truck with an accompanying banner reading “Flaming Gay Bar.”


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Weho Gay
Guest
Weho Gay

Is seducing video and pictures without showing private parts a porno? If so, many stores should be sued. Funny law sue.

Jesse Alvarez
Guest

Sounds like an amazingly great time!! Where do I get an application? Lmao

Mike
Guest
Mike

This lawsuit is ridiculous and that lawyer should be ashamed for bringing this case to court. The posters and advertisements for Micky’s feature near naked men, even the logo shows the torso of a shirtless man. If any potential employees felt uncomfortable in a sexually charged environment they should work in a regular bar or restaurant where they can make less in tips than they would at a busy gay bar. The fact that Micky’s has been sued 11 times and almost all the cases were dismissed or negligible shows that these lawsuits are hail mary attempts to extort money… Read more »

Chris B. in SFV
Guest
Chris B. in SFV

I’m a gay guy and I’ve been to some kinky nightclubs but there’s something really uncomfortable about Micky’s and Here Bar. You get a nasty feeling that the gogo dancers are prostitutes and the patrons are all lecherous and aggressive. By contrast, the clubs in SoMa (San Francisco) are WAY more naked and outrageous but the people are more respectful and friendly. West Hollywood is characterized by youth obsessed old men hoping to seduce desperate kids into going home with them. It’s all very predictable and I never have a good time there.

JJ
Guest
JJ

Drew…I just went through the Weho nights photos and I can tell you that in fact most of those photos were NOT taken at Mickys. There are 3 photos (I think) that I could tell were in fact taken at Mickys and in those three photos there is nothing tawdry going on (three, not most of) I suggest that before you post something you purport to be fact, you make sure that it is so and not just the cranking of the rumor mill. We have enough of that going on in Weho!!!

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

I never knew it was so much fun there. Wish I had gone there instead of the other clubs.

Evan
Guest
Evan

These people are working in a gay bar as barely clothed erotic dancers (most of whom are porn stars) and half naked bartenders, WTF?!? Regardless of being gay or straight what in the Hell did these moron expect a bloody clerical job. As for porn playing or the evil patrons abusing the workers, no one forced them to stay!! They are all adults, if they don’t know how to set boundaries either with their boss or with the patrons they shouldn’t be doing the gig. I have worked jobs were the employer was an asshole and the environment was Hellish,… Read more »

Citizen Q
Guest
Citizen Q

So who are these Agrieved plantiffs? It’s public record, funny the attorney didn’t release their names.. Too afraid to come public! Or ashamed?

Joel
Guest
Joel

I don’t know anything about the validity of employee’s case so I wont comment on that. But I have been saying for years to my friends that are dying for Gay marriage, be careful what you wish for. I believe in these issues as a matter of civil rights. But I am very skeptical of the motives of some activists – believing that having the ability to marry means that the majority will love us and that we are like them. Neither is true. We are not like straight society, at least culturally. Our history is different – being forced… Read more »

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

Gay Men behave differently than Lesbians, Str8 Men or Str8 Women. If you go to a Gay Men’s Bar, you should expect behaviour that is exhiliarating and not shy of repression. A Gay Men’s Bar is a safe oasis from discrimination, judgement and the daily requirement to conform to straight world. Anyone entering Micky’s goes there to have a bawdy good time. If you are shy, sheltered, disturbed by gogo dancers or the occassional porn clip (which has to meet community decency standards)…then DO NOT ENTER. No one is forcing you to attend this bar or to apply for employment… Read more »

chr
Guest
chr

To everyone saying that its just a gay bar and it shouldn’t matter – it does. They were hired under the pretext of being go-go boys or bar tenders, not working in a sex club… Furthermore, violating meal breaks and falsifying time cards are serious issues. But the worse is firing heterosexual or black employees. That’s discrimination…

nephi3
Guest

I just love “Weho Patron” who states he has been in Micky’s 3-4 nights a week for 15 years. GET A FREAKING LIFE YOU LOUNGE LIZARD!