Wage & Hour Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Independent Contractors

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ContractorGate: Court Awards Employer Over $550,000 In Attorney’s Fees And Costs Based On DOL’s Unreasonable Litigation Position

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Independent Contractors, Misclassification/Exemptions

Co-authored by Julie G. Yap and Rachel M. Hoffer

This week, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered the Department of Labor to fork over $565,527.61 in attorneys’ fees and costs to a Texas employer.  Why such a hefty fee award?  The DOL’s position that the employer misclassified gate attendants as independent contractors was not … Continue Reading

Let’s Play Two: California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Two Important Class Action Cases

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Independent Contractors, Rule 23 Certification

Authored by Jim Harris

The California Supreme Court heard oral argument in two important cases involving employment-related class actions.  From the tenor of and comments made at the argument, it appears likely that the ultimate results will be a mixed bag for employers.

The first case, Iskanian v. CLS Transportation of Los Angeles, LLC, which we reported on late last … Continue Reading

Lowe’s Raises the Bar on Class Certification

Posted in Independent Contractors, Rule 23 Certification

Authored by Jessica Schauer Lieberman

This week, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts took retailer Lowe’s advice to “never stop improving” — on the class certification standard.  The court issued a decision that may demonstrate that employers are gaining ground in convincing district courts to more narrowly interpret the class certification requirements in light of recent Supreme … Continue Reading

W.H.D.?: Here We Go Again . . . Independent Contractors Targeted Once More

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Independent Contractors

Authored by Alex Passantino

A cable installation company recently entered into a consent judgment with the U.S. Department of Labor, agreeing to pay over $1 million in back wages and liquidated damages to nearly 200 workers. [here] The consent judgment also enjoins the company — and its former vice president — from future violations of the FLSA. 

The Wage … Continue Reading

W.H.D.?: Continuing the Crack Down in Fissured Industries

Posted in DOL Enforcement, Independent Contractors, Misclassification/Exemptions

Authored by Alex Passantino

Independent Contractors.  Subcontractors.  Franchises.  Employment Agencies.  According to the Wage & Hour Division, use of these relationships is an action that requires special scrutiny.  When WHD states that it is targeting “fissured industries,” it means those industries in which it is more likely that workers are performing under one of these relationships — anything where there … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal Delivers On Newspaper Carrier Misclassification Case

Posted in Independent Contractors, Rule 23 Certification, State Laws/Claims

Co-Authored by: Jeffrey A. Berman and Anthony J. Musante

On July 2, 2012, the California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court ruling denying class certification to a group of newspaper carriers claiming they were misclassified as independent contractors.  In Sotelo v. Medianews Group, Inc., the Court of Appeal concluded that plaintiffs’  proposed class of newspaper carriers could not … Continue Reading

Sorry, But That’s Not in My Contract: Court Holds that Exotic Dancers Are Not Employees under the FLSA or Arkansas Minimum Wage Act

Posted in Independent Contractors, Misclassification/Exemptions, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by Barry Miller and Jeremy W. Stewart

Owners and operators of gentleman’s clubs recently received a new arrow in their quiver in the ongoing dispute over a question that has created a barrage of lawsuits across the industry – “Are exotic dancers employees?”  A decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on July 12 … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Shaw “Writes the Book” on Wage-Hour Litigation

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Conditional Certification, Decertification, DOL Enforcement, Hybrid Lawsuits, Independent Contractors, Overtime, Rule 23 Certification

Authored by:  Noah Finkel, Brett Bartlett, Andrew Paley and Richard Alfred

Members of Seyfarth Shaw’s Wage and Hour Litigation Practice Group have authored Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation, the first-of-its kind treatise on wage and hour litigation. Published by American Lawyer Media’s Law Journal Press, the 912-page volume is the most comprehensive guide published to date that focuses … Continue Reading

First Circuit Revives Industry Group’s Challenge to Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute

Posted in Independent Contractors, State Laws/Claims

Authored by Barry Miller

A recent ruling from the First Circuit Court of Appeals captioned Massachusetts Delivery Association v. Coakley has important implications for industry groups representing employers that find themselves embattled in wage and hour litigation regarding widespread industry practices.  In overturning a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the First Circuit held that … Continue Reading

California Court Of Appeal Provides Roadmap On The Proper Classification Of Independent Contractor

Posted in Independent Contractors, Misclassification/Exemptions

Co-Authored by Tripper Ortman and Robb McFadden

Insurance agents and other types of salespeople with the discretion to determine when, how, and whether to sell a company’s products may properly be classified as independent contractors, according to the California Court of Appeal’s recent holding in Arnold v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company — the first California decision to detail the … Continue Reading