Todd Lebowitz

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Dead End for Class Certification? Ninth Circuit Provides Roadmap for Defending Independent Contractor Misclassification Class Claims

For businesses using independent contractor vendors, misclassification claims are usually well-suited for class certification. A plaintiff’s path toward certifying a class can be relatively smooth when all vendors of a particular kind are treated as contractors. The argument goes that if one is misclassified, all are misclassified. But a new Ninth Circuit ruling may help … Continue Reading

Something Is Rotten in the State of California? Ride Share Misclassification Ruling Is Merely Act I

“To be or not to be” are the opening words of a soliloquy by Prince Hamlet. With that, I have exhausted what I remember about Shakespearean plays without consulting Wikipedia. Having consulted Wikipedia, I can confirm that this soliloquy occurs in Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1. A lot happens in Act III and beyond, and if … Continue Reading

DOL Memo Provides Script for FLSA Collective Actions Alleging Independent Contractor Misclassification

The all-time best The Far Side cartoon (based on an unscientific survey, sample size of me) is the one with two deer standing in the forest, one with a red circular target imprinted on its chest. The other deer says, “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.” Poor Hal. Blessed with the ability to walk upright, but … Continue Reading

Two California Juries to Decide Whether Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Employees or Contractors

The core business models of both Uber and Lyft have just been turned over to two separate California juries. These groups of randomly selected citizens will determine whether the drivers for both companies have been properly classified as independent contractors, or whether both companies owe potentially millions of dollars in fines and penalties for having failed … Continue Reading

Publix to Pay $6.8 Million Settlement over Noncompliant Background Check Forms

If your company’s background check disclosure form includes a release of liability, take it out. Less than a year after a federal district court in Pennsylvania ruled that Closetmaid violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by including release language in its background check disclosure form, the Publix supermarket chain agreed to pay nearly $6.8 … Continue Reading

Conservative Kansas Joins the Liberal Ninth Circuit in Rejecting the Independent Contractor Classification of Delivery Drivers

Last month we blogged about two Ninth Circuit opinions that deemed FedEx Ground drivers to be employees rather than independent contractors under California and Oregon law.  Last week the Kansas Supreme Court joined them, applying Kansas law to reach the same conclusion in Craig v. FedEx Ground System, Inc. (Oct 3, 2014). While the Ninth … Continue Reading

U.S. Open Umpires and Linesmen Are Independent Contractors, Court Rules

In an opinion that disappointingly failed to take advantage of countless pun opportunities, a federal judge in New York otherwise got it right, ruling that the United States Tennis Association properly classified U.S. Open tennis officials as independent contractors, not employees.  Meyer v. United States Tennis Ass’n, No. 1:11-cv-6268 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 11, 2014). The lawsuit, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Eases Path Toward Class Certification of Independent Contractor Misclassification Claims

Managing independent contractor relationships requires a delicate balance, perhaps best described (unknowingly, of course) by the band .38 Special in the song “Hold On Loosely”: Just hold on loosely But don’t let go If you cling too tightly You’re gonna lose control Maintaining too much control causes the loss of control.  And so it goes … Continue Reading
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