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Category Archives: Employee Status

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Grubhub Driver Ruled an Employee, Not Independent Contractor

On March 30, 2023, U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley held that Grubhub Inc. (“Grubhub” or the “Company”) wrongly classified former delivery driver Raef Lawson as an independent contractor instead of as an employee, in violation of California’s minimum wage law. Throughout the eight-year litigation, Grubhub argued that its delivery drivers fall within the business-to-business exemption to the three-pronged classification test outlined in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court, that allows…

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PA Judge Denies Cannabis Company’s Motion to Dismiss Delivery Driver Misclassification Claims

On March 7, 2023, the Honorable William S. Stickman IV of the Western District of Pennsylvania denied a motion to dismiss filed by medical cannabis company FarmaceuticalRX LLC (“FRX” or the “Company”) in a class action lawsuit alleging the Company misclassified delivery drivers as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime wages. In August 2022, FRX delivery drivers Clint Goodenow, Jason Hummel, Alex Fitzgerald, Brian DeMarco, and Mark Williams (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed…

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FLSA: Ninth Circuit Holds L.A. Homecare Workers are Eligible for Overtime Compensation

On November 4, 2022, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that for the purposes of the Fair Labor Stands Act (“FLSA”), Los Angeles County (the “County”) qualifies as a joint employer of In-Home Supportive Services (“IHSS”) providers and is therefore liable for failing to pay overtime compensation, partially reversing the Central District of California’s summary judgment order in favor of the…

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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Blocks App Driver Ballot Initiatives

In a unanimous opinion issued on June 14, 2022, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found it was an error for the Massachusetts Attorney General to certify two proposed ballot initiatives to redefine the employment classification of rideshare app drivers. The Court determined the initiatives contained at least two substantially distinct policy decisions, and that the lumping together of multiple policy questions does not allow voters to answer a single initiative…

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Workers Seek Sanctions on Turf Farm

Workers of Briggs Traditional Turf Farm (“Briggs” or the “Farm”) have sought sanctions against their employer for misleading employees who could opt into a lawsuit against the Farm. The second amended complaint, filed on December 23, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, alleges that Briggs illegally and discriminately withheld overtime pay from workers with H-2A visas by purposely misrepresenting them as agricultural workers.…

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Joint Task Force on Misclassification of Employees – Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Pennsylvania’s Joint Task Force on Misclassification of Employees (“Task Force”) held its fourth meeting of the year on April 22, 2022, the first in-person meeting since its assembly in January 2021. The Task Force is a bipartisan group of nominated volunteers representing business, labor, and government seeking to publicize a comprehensive understanding of worker misclassification and its consequences. This meeting occurred a month after the Task Force released its Annual Report, which…

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Wal-Mart Overtime Suit Denied Summary Judgment

On January 24, 2022, U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo denied Wal-Mart’s motion for partial summary judgement in Sundel Quiles, et al. v. Wal-Mart. The action arises from allegations that Wal-Mart misclassified the Plaintiffs as overtime-exempt employees in violation of the New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law (“NJWHL”) and New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). Wal-Mart sought to limit the claims that Plaintiffs could bring to trial by arguing that even if Wal-Mart…

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Matco Tools Misclassification Suit Reaches $15.8 Million Settlement

On January 19, 2022, John Fleming (“Plaintiff”) requested preliminary approval of a $15,846,423 settlement (the “Settlement”) on behalf of himself and a class of other current and former distributors of Matco Tools Corporation (“Matco Tools” or “Defendant”). The Settlement resolves allegations that Plaintiff and other class members were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees of Matco Tools, resulting in unreimbursed business expenses, unlawful deductions, unpaid overtime compensation, missed meal and rest…

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Applying California’s ABC Test to Determine Employee Status

The assessment of whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee is a fact-intensive inquiry. Moreover, different tests apply depending on the law. Thus, while a worker may be classified as an independent contractor under federal tax law, the same worker may be classified as an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law covering minimum wage and overtime. The three general categories of tests are: (1)…

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