California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: misclassification

Do California’s New Restrictions on Independent Contractors Apply Retroactively?

On May 1, we reported on the California Supreme Court’s opinion in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, in which the Supreme Court set forth the standard for determining if a worker may properly be classified as an employee or independent contractor. See  Cal. Employment Law Blog (May 1, 2018). An issue that the Court … Continue Reading

There Is No Private Right Of Action For Misclassification Of Individual As An Independent Contractor

Noe v. Superior Court, 237 Cal. App. 4th 316 (2015) Several vendors who sold food and beverages at various entertainment venues in southern California sued for failure to pay minimum wage and willfully misclassifying them as independent contractors in violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 226.8. In this opinion, the Court of Appeal held that … Continue Reading

Trial Court Should Have Certified Class Claims Of Managerial Employees

Martinez v. Joe’s Crab Shack Holdings, 231 Cal. App. 4th 362 (2014) Roberto Martinez and three other current or former employees of Joe’s Crab Shack (“JCS”) filed this putative class action asserting that they and similarly situated salaried managerial employees had been misclassified as exempt employees and were entitled to unpaid overtime and related wages. … Continue Reading

Unfair Competition Claim Against Trucking Company is Not Preempted By Federal Law

People v. Pac Anchor Transp., Inc., 2014 WL 3702674 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) The People on behalf of the State of California filed this unfair competition law (“UCL”) action against Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., for misclassifying drivers as independent contractors and for other alleged violations of California labor and unemployment insurance laws.  In response, Pac … Continue Reading

FedEx Drivers Are Employees Not Independent Contractors

Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc., 2014 WL 4211107 (9th Cir. 2014) In this class action the named plaintiffs represent approximately 2,300 individuals who were full-time delivery drivers for FedEx in California between 2000 and 2007.  FedEx characterizes its drivers as independent contractors in its Operating Agreement.  Similar cases to this one were filed … Continue Reading

Class Action Plaintiffs Must Develop A Trial Plan That May Include Statistical Sampling

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 59 Cal. 4th 1 (2014) Plaintiffs in this case are loan officers for U.S. Bank (“USB”) who claim they were misclassified as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption. After certifying a class of 260 plaintiffs, the trial court devised a plan to determine the extent of USB’s liability … Continue Reading

California Courts May No Longer Be Able to Certify a Ham Sandwich

Commentators have quipped that class certification is so easy in California that with little effort a group of plaintiffs could certify even a ham sandwich.  In fact, as we have discussed here, we have seen a proliferation of recent appellate decisions hinging class certification on the mere existence of an employer’s uniform policy – no … Continue Reading

Trial Court Erred In Part In Failing To Certify Class Of Newspaper Home Delivery Carriers

Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc., 2012 WL 4098995 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Plaintiffs Maria Ayala, Rosa Duran and Osman Nuñez sought to certify a class of newspaper home delivery carriers in a lawsuit brought against Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc. (“AVN”), alleging that AVN had improperly classified the carriers as independent contractors rather than employees … Continue Reading

Insurance Claims Adjusters Are Not Exempt Administrative Employees

Harris v. Superior Court, 207 Cal. App. 4th 1225 (2012) Plaintiffs in this case are insurance claims adjusters who claim they were misclassified as exempt from overtime under the administrative exemption. The Court of Appeal held that because the adjusters’ primary work duties are the day-to-day tasks of adjusting individual claims and are not directly … Continue Reading

Employer Was Deprived Of Due Process By Trial Court’s Erroneous Use Of Representative Sampling

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 203 Cal. App. 4th 212 (2012) U.S. Bank (“USB”) appealed a $15 million judgment that was entered against it following a bifurcated bench trial. The plaintiffs are 260 current and former business banking officers who claimed they were misclassified by USB as outside sales personnel exempt from overtime pay. … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules Unlicensed “Junior Accountants” May Be Exempt From Overtime

Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2011 WL 2342740 (9th Cir. June 15, 2011) (pdf) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff-junior accountants, noting that the district court’s holding would produce “significantly troubling results” and create “highly problematic precedent affecting several non-accounting … Continue Reading

Class Certification Was Properly Denied To Retail Store Managers

Mora v. Big Lots Stores, Inc., 194 Cal. App. 4th 496 (2011) Putative class representatives Ana Mora, et al., asserted claims for unpaid overtime, meal and rest periods and related wage-and-hour violations against their former employer Big Lots Stores, Inc. and its affiliate PNS Stores, Inc. Plaintiffs asserted that they and similarly situated Big Lots … Continue Reading

Trial Court Properly Granted Motion To Strike Class Allegations In Misclassification Case

In re BCBG Overtime Cases, 163 Cal. App. 4th 1293 (2008) BCBG Maxazria filed a motion to strike class allegations from the complaint Christina Denkinger filed in which she and other putative class representatives alleged that BCBG misclassified its managers and assistant managers as exempt from overtime because they spend more than 50 percent of … Continue Reading
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