Challenging the classification of workers as independent contractors continues to be a growing area of focus for plaintiffs’ attorneys. However, as a recent federal case from Washington demonstrates, the fact-intensive inquiry that is the hallmark of the independent contractor inquiry is not compatible with classwide resolution – particular post-Dukes.
In Rodney v. Bankers Life and Casualty Co., Case No. C14-766RSL (W.D. Wash. June 30, 2015), the plaintiffs were insurance agents who worked for and were classified by Bankers Life as independent contractors. The plaintiffs alleged that they were actually common law employees and, thus, entitled to overtime under Washington’s Minimum Wage Act. The case was originally brought in Washington state court and certified as a class before Bankers successfully removed the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act. Bankers then moved to decertify the class. Continue Reading