The judge ruled that the dancers were not independent and instead were managed with "tight control, indeed, control fairly described as micromanagement."
The guidelines cited in the lawsuit include a 24-hour notice of cancellation, otherwise being subject to a fine, and a three-day minimum commitment, one of which had to be Friday through Monday.
Rick's also had rules against chewing gum, which bathrooms were used, or "having any type of hand bags or purse on the floor," the lawsuit states.
Fatima Goss Graves, vice president for education and employment of the National Women's Law Center, said the ruling gives Rick's and other adult entertainment facilities the opportunity to re-evaluate or to consider their practices for how they label their employees.
She said the misclassification of workers present in Rick's lawsuit is a frequent occurrence, especially in workplaces with large concentrations of female and immigrant workers.
"It's critically important that our wage laws are enforced and employers are not able to skirt around them by labeling their employees as contractors," she said.
Graves said lawsuits against employers are "incredibly difficult" to bring to a courtroom unless employees band together to challenge practices.
"When the challenge is labeling categories of employees incorrectly, that's not just one individual employee's issue, that's a systemic issue," she said.
The most recent jobs data show the jobs coming back for women are increasingly in low-wage industries, "where workers are particularly vulnerable to this type of treatment," Graves said.
"I suspect that the issue of misclassification of workers as non-employees is just the tip of the iceberg," she said.