Employment Litigation

08/06/2015

FedEx Drivers Deemed Employees By Federal Court

FedEx Drivers Ruled Employees

In a recent opinion issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal Express delivery drivers have been legally classified as employees of FedEx, rather than independent contractors as was argued by the company.  Audet & Partners, LLP has handled many wage and hour employment class actions on behalf of thousands of employees and believes that this FedEx ruling will have wide-ranging implications in many industries, including truckers and other types of delivery professionals. In granting summary judgment in favor of... Read More
06/17/2015

Uber Driver Lawsuit Deems Drivers “Employees”

Uber Driver Lawsuit

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that the California Labor Commission has sided with an Uber driver and held that the driver is considered an employee rather than an independent contractor under California state law.  In the case before the Labor Commission, Barbara Ann Berwick, an Uber driver, had argued that as an employee of Uber, she was entitled to reimbursement for costs incurred while transporting Uber customers to various destinations. Uber has maintained that under its business model, Uber drivers are... Read More
04/08/2015

Felon Firings By Apple May Be Illegal

Felon Firings by Apple May Violate the Law

Audet & Partners, LLP is investigating claims by construction workers who claim to have been discharged from work on Apple's new Cupertino campus based solely on their status as previously convicted felons.  While for certain types of employment a prior felony conviction may bear some relevance to potential job responsibilities, this generally does not hold true for construction work and situations such as the recent felon firings at Apple. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on one worker, Kevin Yip, who... Read More
02/03/2015

Employee Lawsuits Upheld Under Private Attorneys General Act

Employee Lawsuits May Proceed Under PAGA

California and federal laws generally uphold arbitration waivers in employment agreements signed by an employees.  These arbitration agreements often prevent employee lawsuits should a dispute arise regarding wages or other workplace conditions. In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, however, the California Supreme Court entertained the issue of whether an arbitration agreement containing a waiver for class actions also applies to a disgruntled employee bringing or participating in a representative claim under the Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA"). What Are PAGA Claims? Claims brought under... Read More
10/28/2014

Ruling Holding Independent Contractors to Be Employees Challenged

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding truck drivers to be employees rather than independent contractors of Affinity Logistics Corp. has been appealed to the U.S Supreme Court.  In June, the Ninth Circuit held that delivery drivers had been improperly classified by Affinity as independent contractors based primarily on the degree of control that Affinity maintained over the drivers' working conditions. The Affinity case was originally filed in 2005 by Fernando... Read More
10/09/2014

Private Attorneys General Act Lawsuits Not Precluded by Arbitration Clauses

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that a new opinion issued by a California appellate court has revived employment claims brought by a workers under the California Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA") despite the fact that the worker had signed a mandatory arbitration agreement in connection with her employment.  Reyna Marie Ybarra v. Apartment and Investment Management Co., case number B245901, in the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District. Ms. Ybarra had brought a lawsuit in California in... Read More
10/06/2014

New Contractor Law Heightens Protection for California Contractors

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that Gov. Jerry Brown of California has signed into law Assembly Bill 1897 that now makes most companies with 25 or more employees strictly liable for specific violations related to compensation, workers' compensation, and occupational health and safety mandates that impact contractors. The new California law, to become effective on January 1, 2015,  protects contractors by imposing statutory liability on companies in the following general areas: • Payment of wages to the contractor's employees; • A contractor's failure... Read More
09/15/2014

Cheerleader Class Action Lawsuit Averted by Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders franchise of the National Football League has averted a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of approximately 90 cheerleaders who worked for the team between 2010 and 2013. The class action lawsuit, which originally had been brought by lead plaintiff and Raiderette “Lacy T,” alleged that during the class period, each of the Raiderettes were paid $1,250 for an entire season which allegedly amounted to $5.00 an hour for job-related responsibilities that included rehearsals, performances, and event... Read More
09/02/2014

Employment Class Actions for Wage Violations On The Rise

In what is coming to be referred to as "wage theft," the New York Times is reporting on an escalating number of class action lawsuits brought on behalf of employees of major U.S. companies to recover wages lost as a result of state and federal employment law violations.  Employment laws and regulations in California and other states, as well as federal law, set forth specific guidelines that must be followed by employers with regard to employee wages and working conditions.  These... Read More
07/10/2014

Employment Arbitration Clauses Upheld by CA Supreme Court

Audet & Partners, LLP reports that on June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court upheld the enforceability of mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts that, in most cases, effectively deprive employees of the right to bring class action lawsuits against their employers for legal violations in the workplace.  The case, Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, No. S204032, overturned earlier opinions that had held the arbitration clauses to be unenforceable. The Court in Iskanian, however, carved out one exception that would... Read More
03/26/2014

San Francisco MUNI Drivers Overtime Class Action Lawsuit Explained

San Francisco MUNI bus and train drivers suing the public transit agency for overtime violations are seeking class action certification. The group of current and former train operators who have joined in the suit has already reached some 2,000+ drivers. The basis of their purported class action lawsuit is that MUNI drivers are not paid for various time spent on the job in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and related California labor laws. No Pay for Delayed Schedules... Read More
03/20/2014

Class Action Lawsuits Brought Against McDonald’s For Wage and Hour Violations

McDonald’s is facing class action lawsuits in multiple states over wage and hour violations from potentially thousands of current and former employees. The employee lawsuits, filed to date in Michigan, New York California, are part of a nationwide movement to increase the minimum wage at the fast-food restaurant chain to $15 per hour. The New York Times reported on the campaign to raise fast-food minimum wages earlier this week, with a total of seven lawsuits having been filed involving hundreds of... Read More