A proposed settlement in a wage and hour lawsuit filed in 2017 by Farmers Insurance special investigators received court approval on Monday. The lawsuit alleged that Farmers Insurance failed to pay overtime pay including meal breaks and rest periods under the Fair Labor Standards Act to their special investigators. Each investigator in the lawsuit is set to receive an average of $47,000.

The $5.4 million dollar settlement includes any person who worked for Farmers Insurance as a special investigator in California between 2013 and 2018.

The case is David Deluca et al. v. Farmers Insurance Exchange et al., case number 3:17-cv-00034 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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A settlement was recently approved against California based Munger Bros. who owns Washington state berry farm, Sarbanand Farms in Sumas, WA. Under the $3.75 million settlement, nearly 500 foreign farmworkers will receive at least $4,656 while 65 will receive an additional $10,384 in back wages and other fees. Munger denies any wrongdoing.

The lawsuit stems from the termination of farmworkers who walked out in protest in 2017 after a colleague was taken by ambulance and later died at a hospital of natural causes unrelated to work. The termination of the initial approximate 65 workers led to further protests by workers. The claimants alleged they were illegally fired and those who remained claimed a hostile work environment. Munger Bros. is based in California.


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A class action lawsuit has been filed against UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. It alleges failure to lawfully calculate and pay employees wages. More specifically, it alleges that they failed to pay overtime wages, failed to pay minimum wages, failed to provide required meal breaks and rest periods and other violations of the California labor law. This lawsuit is currently pending in the Riverside County Superior Court, Case No. RIC2000727.

Some suggest that pressure has been put on UPS and a strain on its workforce by the growth of Amazon and other e-commerce companies. Amazon uses contractors and gig economy workers and these workers have much fewer protections.

United Parcel Service Inc. employs 399,000 workers and moves 3 million packages each day.


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The Third Circuit revived claims asserted by UberBlack drivers that Uber misclassified them as independent contractors to deny them proper minimum and overtime wages. The trial court had granted summary judgment in Uber’s favor. Now, the drivers will go to trial to prove whether they are, in fact, employees.

The three judge panel vacated U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson’s April 2018 decision granting summary judgment to Uber Technologies Inc., saying there isn’t yet a cut-and-dried answer to the question of whether UberBlack drivers are employees or independent contractors, so the dispute should be allowed to go to trial.

The plaintiffs drive for Uber’s higher-end service UberBlack, which offers rides in luxury sedans or SUVs. Uber has maintained throughout the litigation that the drivers are entrepreneurs who are in business for themselves. Uber also contends that the drivers provide a service materially and wholly different from the business that Uber operates in — which is the development and licensing of its smartphone-based ride-hailing app — and acted at all times in their own interest and for their own advantage while also deriving their revenue from multiple streams.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the drivers have hailed the decision as a major win, describing it as the first court of appeals decision to address the proper classification of gig-economy workers under the FLSA.

Travis Lenkner of Keller Lenkner LLC said March 3rd on Twitter that under this ruling, “it is difficult to imagine how Uber and other gig companies can avoid trial on any of their workers’ misclassification claims.”

The appellate case is Ali Razak et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al., case number 18-1944, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.


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A federal judge in California ordered DoorDash to individually arbitrate employment misclassification claims brought by more than 5,000 food couriers rejecting its request to stay the proceedings. The judge called the company’s actions “hypocricy” in requiring workers to sign arbitration agreements and then seeking classwide litigation. The decision to compel 5,010 couriers to arbitration comes as a blow to DoorDash, which asked the court to put on ice the consolidated federal suit accusing it of misclassifying thousands of couriers while a California state court decides whether to preliminarily approve a $39.5 million settlement in an overlapping case.

In a written order issued after Monday’s hearing, the judge granted the couriers’ motion to compel arbitration for 5,010 couriers and ordered DoorDash to “immediately commence” arbitrating with the couriers via the American Arbitration Association. Judge Alsup denied the motion as to 869 couriers who merely submitted witness statements. “For decades, the employer-side bar and their employer clients have forced arbitration clauses upon workers, thus taking away their right to go to court, and forced class-action waivers upon them, too, thus taking away their ability to join collectively to vindicate common rights,” the judge wrote in his order. “The employer here, DoorDash, faced with having to actually honor its side of the bargain, now blanches at the cost of the filing fees it agreed to pay in the arbitration clause.” “No doubt, DoorDash never expected that so many would actually seek arbitration. Instead, in irony upon irony, DoorDash now wishes to resort to a classwide lawsuit, the very device it denied to the workers, to avoid its duty to arbitrate,” the judge continued. “This hypocrisy will not be blessed, at least by this order.”

While the plaintiffs claimed they already paid their fees to the American Arbitration Association, DoorDash has allegedly refused to pay its share by AAA’s deadlines due to purported “deficiencies” in the couriers’ arbitration demands, which resulted in the AAA effectively freezing the couriers’ cases, according to the arbitration petition. The couriers claim that DoorDash and its lawyers were working to impose a new arbitration agreement that purports to supersede the previous version and significantly changes the rules for how and where the arbitration proceedings will be conducted from what the couriers had initially agreed to, they alleged in court filings.

The cases are Terrell Abernathy et al. v. DoorDash Inc., and Christine Boyd et al. v. DoorDash Inc., case numbers 3:19-cv-07545 and 3:19-cv-07646, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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A $54.6 million jury verdict for truckers who said Walmart violated California law by not paying minimum wage for breaks and other work interruptions was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. Walmart challenged a November 2016 jury verdict in favor of a class of more than 800 truckers for almost $55 million in damages on claims the retailer violated California law requiring minimum wages for all work. While it found Walmart — which paid workers based on their activities — did not short workers for certain aspects of their work, the jury found the company owed wages for mandatory 10-hour layovers between driving periods, pre- and post-trip inspections, and rest breaks.

Under California law, employers owe workers minimum wage for work interruptions in which they nonetheless have “control” over employees. The verdict built on pretrial rulings by the district court that Walmart’s written policy denied workers minimum wage for these interruptions, with the jury finding that Walmart shorted workers in practice, too.

Walmart argued that it did not control workers in writing or in fact, saying the court and the jury misread its policy. But the majority disagreed, saying the policy as written exerted “control” over workers because they had to get “permission to enjoy one of the most fundamental privileges that all employees enjoy — the autonomy to go home when they are not working.” And the workers offered ample evidence for the jury to conclude that Walmart so restricted them in practice, the panel said.

The case is Ridgeway et al. v. Walmart Inc., cases number 17-15983 and 17-16142, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


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A federal judge in Florida gave final approval to a $3.6 million settlement between Global HR Research and a nationwide class of job applicants. The complaint in the class action lawsuit alleged the consumer reporting agency violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by disclosing workers’ background check results to employers without proper authorization. According to the settlement documents, each of the approximately 18,931 members of the settlement class would receive $117. The class consists of job applicants nationwide whose sensitive information, in the past five years, was compiled by Global HR and disclosed without the company obtaining the user’s certification that it would comply with the FCRA.


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Shortly after the California lawmakers passed a bill calling for gig economy workers to be labeled employees rather than independent contractors, an Uber driver in San Francisco filed a proposed class action alleging she and other drivers were misclassified as independent contractors and underpaid. The legislation, which, if signed by the governor will take effect in 2020, requires employers to prove three things to classify workers as independent contractors: that the workers are free from their control, perform work outside the usual business, and — independent of the work for the company — are regularly engaged in the trade they’re hired to do.

Uber’s Chief Legal Officer Tony West acknowledged in a statement Wednesday that the ABC test “certainly sets a higher bar for companies to demonstrate that independent workers are indeed independent,” but added that “just because the test is hard does not mean we will not be able to pass it.”

West noted that several courts have held that drivers’ work falls outside the usual course of Uber’s business, which he described as “serving as a technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces.” He also said the company will continue to respond to litigation or arbitrations in which it is accused of misclassification, in keeping with Uber’s current approach.

The suit alleges that Uber, as a result of misclassifying its drivers, committed a series of wage violations against them, including not paying for business expenses like gas, insurance and vehicle maintenance and not paying them required minimum wages and overtime


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A number of former Jones Day female associates filed a putative class action against the enormous law firm seeking to recover over $200 million for pregnancy and gender discrimination. The suit alleged that Jones Day systematically underpaid women and devalued the work of female associates. The suit also alleged that the law firm pushed out lawyers who have children.

The suit alleges that the law firm has a fraternity-like culture where male attorneys get the lion’s share of advancement and business development opportunities while women lawyers end up getting short shrift on pay and promotions in comparison to their male peers. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege in the complaint that Jones Day operates with a presumption that female lawyers who have kids “have chosen family over work” and ultimately pushes them out as it similarly does with women who express concerns internally about the firm’s practices.

The pay discrimination claims are largely centered around the firm’s so-called black box compensation system, in which managing partner Stephen J. Brogan personally signs off on all associates’ compensation decisions. That practice gives him a great amount of autonomy over how much money they earn and whether they are elevated to the partner ranks, they alleged.

The case is Nilab Rahyar, Tolton et al. v. Jones Day, case number 1:19-cv-945, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.


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Uber Technologies Inc. has agreed to pay $20 million to nearly 14,000 drivers to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that the ride-hailing company misclassified those drivers as independent contractors. The settlement only includes drivers in Massachusetts and California that did not have arbitration clauses in their contracts with Uber.

In 2015, a California federal court had certified a class of 240,000 California drivers. In 2016, that court was presented with a $100 million settlement that included the Massachusetts drivers. But the court rejected the earlier agreement, taking issue with the resolution of the Private Attorneys General Act claims in the case. That case was later greatly diminished when the Ninth Circuit ruled in September that Uber’s arbitration agreements with class waivers were valid and enforceable, reversing the lower court’s finding to the contrary.

The case is O’Connor et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al., case number 3:13-cv-03826, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


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Swift Transportation Co. Inc. has agreed to pay $100 million to about 20,000 drivers to settle a class action alleging that it makes its drivers fake owner-operators in order to avoid federal and state wage laws. The lawsuit was filed in December 2009 and alleged that Swift misclassified its drivers as independent contractors and paid them below the federal minimum wage after making them lease and maintain their trucks and pay for gas, tolls, insurance and other costs. The suit also included claims for violations of state wage, contract and forced labor laws.

Swift tried to compel the drivers to arbitrate their claims individually pursuant to arbitration agreements in the independent contractor agreements. An Arizona federal judge rejected Swift’s arbitration bid in early 2017, saying the pacts were invalid under a Federal Arbitration Act exemption barring interstate transportation companies from making workers covered by “contracts of employment” bring claims in arbitration. In January 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court said the FAA’s so-called transportation exemption applies to contractors, mooting an appeal by Swift.

The case is Virginia Van Dusen et al. v. Swift Transportation Co. Inc. et al., case number 2:10-cv-00899, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.


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Five hundred class members who are part of a 2017 class-action suit against Uber alleging pay discrimination and harassment against women and people of color have agreed to settle their dispute with Uber for $10 million. Of that larger group, 56 specifically filed claims alleging sexual harassment or a hostile work environment, and will receive part of a separate $1.9 million payout, an average of $34,000 each. Continue reading “Uber Pays $10 Million to Settle Discrimination Class Action”

A former Jones Day partner has filed a lawsuit against the firm in California alleging that the firm treats women as second-class citizens and provides preferential treatment to men. She alleges she was fired for speaking out against an alleged fraternity culture. Continue reading “Law Firm Jones Day Sued in Discrimination Class Action”

A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of older workers who seek to sue a defendant class of all employers and employment agencies who use Facebooks’ ad placement tools to direct ads to younger workers to the exclusion of older workers. The Communication Workers Union and other plaintiffs allege that employers that do this are engaging in disparate treatment. Continue reading “Job Seekers File Class Action Against a Class of Employers Who Use Facebook Ad Placement Tools”

On May 4, 2017, U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken approved a $13.5 million settlement between drugstore giant Duane Reade and a class of assistant store managers who claim that the defendant did not pay them proper overtime wages.

Continue reading “Duane Reade settles wage and hour class action”