Articles Tagged with Orange County overtime lawyer

A California employee misclassification lawsuit appears to be drawing toward a resolution, after plaintiffs – a group of corporate training managers – have asked a federal judge to approve a $2.75 million settlement alleging their employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. employee misclassification

Specifically, plaintiffs in Dito, et al v. AT&T Services, Inc. et al alleged in the California Northern District Court that telecommunication giant AT&T wrongly classified them as independent contractors in violation of the FLSA, when in fact they were employees. The goal of the misclassification, plaintiffs allege, was to sidestep legal requirements to pay workers overtime.

The proposal for settlement involves a somewhat unusual structure in that it includes both a common fund for existing class members within the state, as well as an opt-in for those out-of-state who may be class members, but have yet to assert their own claims under FLSA. The settlement would save class members the the risks of individual employment litigation. Even this class action employment lawsuit, were it to continue, could drag on several more years, plaintiff attorneys opine.  Continue reading

Amazon is working to shift its logistics duties away from parcel services like UPS and FedEx and more toward trucking company contractors. But now, the e-commerce company is facing legal challenges from those truck drivers who allege in their wage lawsuit that Amazon is a joint employer because of the level of control Amazon has over these workers.trucks

We saw this same legal reasoning in a recent California federal lawsuit against McDonald’s Corp., which agreed to pay a franchisee’s workers $3.75 million to settle a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit filed by workers who alleged the company had joint employer status because it controlled so many elements of the job. Meanwhile, McDonald’s has another case pending before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is considering allegations of unfair labor practices as the joint employer of workers at franchise locations.

As the U.S. Department of Labor has laid out, joint employment exists when a worker is employed by two or more employers, such that the employers are responsible – individually and jointly – to comply with laws ensuring worker rights. Determining whether a company is a joint employer can be a complex process, and it involves an analysis of issues like:

  • Does the other employer supervise, control or direct the work?
  • Do employers share supervisory authority over workers?
  • Do employers treat employees as a pool of workers available to both?
  • Do they share customers or clients?
  • Is the employee’s work integral to the other employee’s business?
  • Are employer operations intermingled?

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One of the ways companies frequently attempt to skirt overtime wage laws is to wrongly classify workers as exempt. They may fudge the definition of the job, or in some cases, simply look for any available legal loophole and stretch it to fit the situation. highwaywyoming

The recent case of  McMaster v. Eastern Armored Servs., Inc. is one in which an employer avoided paying overtime based on the Motor Carrier Act exemption. Employer was able to cite this act, at least for a time, because the worker’s duties were split, as were the type of vehicles she drove.

Let’s start by explaining that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires almost all employers to pay overtime wages to hourly workers. Professional motor carriers are generally exempt from this mandate, but a recent Congressional act waives the exemption for motor carrier workers who, either in whole or in part, operate vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds. The worker in this case argued she fell within the exception to the exemption – and the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit sided with her, ordering the company to pay back wages for the all the overtime she was previously denied.