Futrell v. Payday Cal., Inc., 190 Cal.App.4th 1419 (2010)

Payday provides payroll processing and related services for companies that produce television commercials. In this putative class action, the employees were “freelance crewmembers” whom Reactor Films retained to complete its production activities. John Futrell worked in a private police capacity, providing traffic and crowd control services on various commercials produced by Reactor. On behalf of the putative class, Futrell alleged that Reactor and Payday were his joint employers and that they had failed to pay statutorily required double-time wages when he worked more than 12 hours in a day, failed to pay him within the statutorily prescribed time periods and failed to provide pay stubs that conformed to the statutory requirements. The trial court granted summary adjudication to Payday, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that Payday was not Futrell’s employer because it did not control wages, hours or working conditions, and it did not have the power to cause Futrell to work or prevent him from doing so. The Court further concluded that the existence of payroll documents was not sufficient to establish a triable issue of fact as to whether Payday was a joint employer along with Reactor. See also Employment Dev. Dep’t v. California Unemployment Ins. Appeals Bd., 190 Cal. App. 4th 178 (2010) (EDD properly issued assessment against employer for underpaying its unemployment insurance contributions by “dumping” employees into another (commonly owned) employer’s unemployment insurance account).