Articles Tagged with California employee misclassification lawyer

New York State labor review board has made a move that could shake up the gig economy forever. The boardmisclassification lawyers of regulators recently ruled that three former Uber drivers qualify for unemployment insurance, a decision which first requires that the drivers be considered employees in the first place. According to a report from Forbes, the ruling would apply to all “similarly situated” workers, and the board ordered the company pay unemployment insurance benefits on behalf of the drivers.

Gig economy jobs have become popular in recent years, with companies like Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, and a myriad of other delivery and driving services taking the reins and reshaping the economy. Those desperate for a way to make ends meet that also allows for flexibility around an already packed work and family schedule have given these companies a robust labor force. Others who cannot find stable full-time work have thrown themselves into long days and nights trying to earn enough for a full-time wage. Their desperation, along with contractor loopholes, have created a sub-economy where workers are being stripped of many of the protections others enjoy. Turbo Tax-owner Intuit estimated last year that 34 percent of the American workforce is working in the gig economy, with many this year estimating the number to be closer to 40 percent.  Continue reading

What started as two delivery drivers fighting for their employee status has blossomed into a landmark class-action lawsuit that could have a major ripple effect on employee classification in California and the gig economy in general. In the case ofemployee misclassification lawyers Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, et al, the California Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision that classified a class of delivery drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, as Dynamex had been classifying them. The ruling sets a new precedent for guidelines necessary to determine a workers’ classification that expands the definition of “employee” broader than current standards, according to National Law Review.

The ruling supersedes another made by the court in the case of S.G. Borello & Sons Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations in 1989, which established a multi-faceted test based on how much control or autonomy an employee had in regards to the company. The new three-point standard, or the ABC standard, established by the ruling is a more commonly used method that simplifies the determining process, but also broadly increases how many workers would qualify as employees across the board. The first point (A) is in line with the previous precedent, in that it speaks specifically to workers functioning outside the control of the employer for the performance of the work; B) worker has other regular work outside the company in question; and C) that they work in an occupation, trade, or business that is independently established. Under these rules, the Supreme Court sided with the former opinion that these drivers should be classified as employees, with all the benefits that come with that. “Employee” has become defined as “all workers who would ordinarily be viewed as working in the hiring business,” according to the CA Supreme Court ruling.

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With the fast-paced growth of the gig economy, the line between independent contractors and employees has become more and more blurred. This has led to employee misclassification lawsuits employment misclassificationfiled by workers, claiming employers have taken advantage of their independent contractor status.

Those lawsuits could have a more clear outcome after U.S. District Court for the California Northern District filed a decision in a lawsuit against GrubHub Inc., according to Los Angeles  Times. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley Judge ruled GrubHub’s drivers are independent contractors and should not be classified as employees, and therefore will not receive the perks that come with that identifier.

Maintaining a workforce primarily made up of independent contractors is at the heart of the gig economy. Services like Uber, Lyft, Grub, Postmates, and others will often identify their companies as services that connect customers with contractors, rather than the providers of those services. That way they can work around supporting a staff of employees, and reap the benefits of massive cost reductions. Meanwhile, drivers and delivery people are beholden to the companies they contract for while being burdened with costs associated with the work they do without reimbursement. Continue reading

“Gig” employment, also known as the, “sharing economy,” has exploded across the country, with increasingly more services following in the footsteps of the likes of Uber and Grubhub. These businesses often use appsCalifornia Employment Attorney to connect workers with customers for one-time services. These companies amass an eager base of workers who sign up for shifts as able, delivering groceries, transporting passengers, and more.

Many workers view gig employment as a flexible and easy way to earn extra money, while employers view it as a cheap way to staff a robust labor pool.

However this dynamic has led to a growing number of employee misclassification lawsuits as the debate comes to a boil as to whether these workers are independent contactors or employees (with all the rights that employees receive). Continue reading

Employee misclassification is a major issue faced by workers in Orange County and in the Greater Los Angeles area.   This is an issue taken very seriously by the state as the legislature passed Senate Bill 459 in 2011 to provide penalties to employers for willfully misclassifying employees.  This law is enforced by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), and there are fines of no less than $5,000 and no more than $25,000 per offense.

California employment lawyersEmployee misclassification involves the act of willfully treating an employee as an independent contractor for the purpose of avoiding the payment of overtime wages, workers’ compensation, and employment benefits afforded to full-time employees.  This is a serious violation that occurs frequently in many industries including farming, and the newer so-called “on demand” or “gig” economy.  Continue reading

The time between Black Friday and Christmas Day is always a hectic one for those who work in the retail industry.  This is the time when sales are often the highest, which is where the term “Black Friday” is derived, as store ledgers move from the red to the black. Much has changed in recent years in terms of how employers staff their businesses during this time, and some of these updates are creating a significant hardship for these hard-working employees.

employee misclassificationAccording to a recent news article from The Los Angeles Times, retailers, regardless of their size, are using computers to maximize staffing at times that correlate with higher sales. They are also using many more temporary employees than ever before.  This way they can safe costs by not having as many year-round employees. Continue reading

The unemployment rate is one of the factors economists use to determine the health of the market.  When more people are working it historically means that companies are prospering and the economy is getting stronger. Currently, the unemployment rate is down in Los Angeles and Orange County according to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Daily News. While this is generally good news, new issues arise as our economy has largely shifted into what has been termed an on demand economy.worker-199x300

This sounds like a good thing, but there are ways companies can use this newer model to take advantage of employees and not provide them with all of the wages and benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.  This is often done through what employment attorneys call employee misclassification. Continue reading

We hear a lot about jobs and job numbers on the news these days, as it has become a major political talking point.  Whether or not jobs will come back to Americans is up for debate, and both sides of the aisle have a lot to say about the topic.

employment attorney LAHowever, what we do know is that there are a lot of factories shuttered and a lot of jobs being lost, and for the laid-off workers, this is often devastating. According to a recent news article from 89.3 KPCC, California is providing $3 million to help the 600 workers who were laid-off by American Apparel. Continue reading

According to a recent news report from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, more than 200 workers at the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts were present for a major demonstration.  They were carrying picket signs and chanting about management and the rights they are fighting for, but this was not a strike.  While we typically associate picket signs and workers’ rights chants with a strike or even a work slowdown, we are seeing more and more of these demonstrations where workers will express their concerns and then go back to work.

employment attorneyThe concern for these sanitation workers is coming to a boil as talks are ongoing that may affect their paychecks.  The picketing workers included wastewater plant employees, supervisors, IT specialists, and engineers. The rally was the first for this agency, as they have not had many issues involves disgruntled employees in the past. However, these workers do have considerable power should there ever be a strike, as they are responsible for the sanitation needs of nearly 6 million people in nearly 80 cities and unincorporated parts of the county. Continue reading

There has been a lot of news lately about the employment status of ride-sharing drivers for services such as Uber and Lyft.  The issue is whether these workers are employees or independent contractors.  If they are classified as independent contractors, they are not entitled to benefits and overtime pay.  For obvious reasons, the employers want to classify their drivers as independent contractors.

carwash-1514403Another reason that ride sharing companies want these drivers to be classified as independent contractors is because, if they are, then the company does not have to maintain insurance for the drivers and are not liable for any damage caused by the drivers. There have been several cases before the employment commission in Los Angeles where the commission determined that these drivers were employees and not independent contractors.  While this certainly turned a lot of heads in the industry, it did not have any precedential value beyond the instant case. Continue reading