News & Analysis as of

California Supreme Court Makes It Easier For Workers in Misclassification Cases To Obtain Class Certification

Employment class action litigation is often won or lost with a class certification ruling. If the employer is successful in opposing class certification, then these cases often go away with little or no fanfare and limited...more

The Supremes Sing Out About Control: It is the Primary Test for Deciding Whether a Worker is an Employee or an Independent...

In December 2008, newspaper carrier Maria Ayala sued Antelope Valley Newspapers on behalf of herself and a putative class of other newspaper carriers. The crux of her allegations in the complaint is that Antelope Valley...more

California Supreme Court Holds Independent Contractor Misclassification Claims Can Be Determined by Common Proof – But Only in...

In its first employment-related class certification decision since its seminal ruling in Duran v. U.S. Bank, the California Supreme Court, in a fragmented opinion, reversed the denial of class certification for a group of...more

Arizona District Court Rejects Joint Employer Arguments in Independent Contractor Case Alleging Misclassification of Truck Drivers

A month ago we discussed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp., Case No. 12-56589 (9th Cir. June 16, 2014), in which the employer treated its delivery drivers as employees in everything but name,...more

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Holds That a Challenge to Independent Contractor Status Is Class Certifiable

In Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers the California Supreme Court held that the critical factor in determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is “the degree of a hirer’s right to control how...more

California Supreme Court Nixes Certification Denial Ruling Against Newspaper Carriers Classified as Independent Contractors

The California Supreme Court recently held that a trial court needed to revisit its class certification decision regarding newspaper carriers who alleged that they should have been classified as employees rather than...more

California Supreme Court Addresses Test for Independent Contractor Status and Class Certification of Independent Contractor...

Employers frequently struggle with determining when a service provider should be classified as an independent contractor, as opposed to an "employee." Getting the answer to that question wrong can prove significant in many...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2014

"Unauthorized Alien" Who Provided False SSN Can Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit - Salas v. Sierra Chem. Co., 2014 WL 2883878 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Vicente Salas worked on Sierra Chemical's production...more

Recent Settlement Of FLSA Collective Action A Reminder Of The Perils Of Outside Sales Exemption

A federal district court judge recently approved the final settlement of a lawsuit between a collective class of sales representatives and their employer regarding an alleged misclassification under the outside sales...more

When Numbers Lie: The Limits of Statistical Methodology in California Class Action Management

Courts that oversee class actions can use class sampling and other statistical methods to manage litigation involving large numbers of plaintiffs and the vast amount of data associated with them. In California, however, those...more

Lowe’s Settles Independent Contractor Misclassification Case

Buying something at Lowe’s? Need help putting it where it belongs, hooking it up, making it work? “Get it installed by a Lowe’s professional,” Lowe’s advertises....more

California Supreme Court Leaves Unanswered Questions in Independent Contractor Case

On Monday, June 30, 2014, the California Supreme Court handed down its decision in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, a lawsuit brought on behalf of a group of newspaper delivery carriers who alleged that they had been...more

Extra! Extra! Read All About It: California Supreme Court Affirms Reversal of Class Certification Denial for Class of Newspaper...

The California Supreme Court in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc. recently affirmed and remanded the reversal of a denial of class certification in an independent contractor misclassification case, emphasizing the...more

California Supreme Court: Newspaper Carriers Can Proceed With Class Action Challenging Independent Contractor Status

On June 30, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision addressing how trial courts should determine the appropriateness of class certification in cases where workers claim they were improperly classified as...more

Ninth Circuit Narrowly Upholds Class Settlement In Misclassification Case

We’ve commented several times recently on the increasing scrutiny courts are giving to class action settlements generally, and to attorney fee awards in particular. A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit, although it...more

A New Dawn for California Class Actions

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” The California Supreme Court could have been channeling Mark Twain when it rejected, emphatically, the unbridled use of statistical sampling to prove...more

California Supreme Court Stabilizes the Law in California Misclassification Class Action Cases

In a long-awaited decision, the California Supreme Court in Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, S200923 (May 29, 2014), clarified California's standard for certifying class actions in employee misclassification cases. In...more

Statistical Sampling in Class Action Trial Violated Defendant's Due Process Rights

In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court on May 29 reversed a class action verdict for a class which was based on a flawed statistical model to determine liability and damages. Duran v. U.S. Bank National...more

California Supreme Court Preserves Employer’s Right to Litigate Defenses in Class Action Trial

Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, No. S200923, California Supreme Court (May 29, 2014): On May 29, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that employers that are defending class action claims of...more

California Supreme Court (!) Issues Strong Pro-Defense Wage and Hour Class Action Decision

“Depending on the nature of the claimed exemption and the facts of a particular case, a misclassification claim has the potential to raise numerous individual questions that may be difficult, or even impossible, to litigate...more

Try, Try Again: The California Supreme Court Sends “Fundamentally Flawed” Duran Case Back To The Trial Court

Employment class action defendants in California who were hoping for an unequivocal statement that statistical sampling has no place in class actions are likely to be disappointed by today’s ruling in Duran v. U.S. Bank, N.A....more

School is Almost Out and Summer Interns are (Still) In

With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, many people are looking forward to hitting the beach, firing up the grill and polishing off their golf clubs, which are, for many Northeasterners, covered in cobwebs after this long...more

Thinking about Hiring Interns? New Case Reminds Employers of Rules on Interns

Following similar decisions involving Hearst Corporation and Viacom, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York recently granted conditional certification of a potential nation-wide class of approximately 3,000...more

Southern District Of New York Judge Conditionally Certifies Another Unpaid Intern Collective Action

O’Jeda v. Viacom, Inc., 13 Civ. 5658 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 4, 2014): As we covered in our June 2013 and September 2013 issues, a number of intern misclassification cases are currently before New York courts. While those cases are...more

Massachusetts Court Refuses to Certify Case Involving Alleged Independent Contractor Misclassification

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently issued a case involving the straight-forward application of the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011),...more

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