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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

08 Oct Ninth Circuit Destroys Uber Drivers’ Misclassification Suits

On September 25, a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel ruled unanimously that Uber Technologies Inc.’s arbitration agreements with its drivers are enforceable, based in part on the recent Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis ruling issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.   The Ninth Circuit’s decision effectively dismantles a class of hundreds of thousands of Uber drivers who alleged that they were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees. As a result, any Uber drivers who seek to pursue their misclassification claim must do so through individual…

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02 May California Supreme Court Ruling to Give More Workers Employee Status

On Monday, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, which reversed nearly three decades of precedent by rejecting the longstanding Borello worker classification test. The opinion effectively expands the number of workers that will be deemed as employees for purposes of California wage orders, ultimately granting such workers benefits, minimum wage, and overtime compensation, as well as rest and meal breaks.   As a result of this decision, California employers will have…

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23 Apr Philadelphia U. S. District Court Determines Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors

  On the heels of a San Francisco U.S. Magistrate Judge’s February 2018 ruling in Lawson v. Grubhub Inc. that Grubhub food delivery workers are independent contractors, Judge Michael Baylson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that Uber limousine drivers are likewise independent contractors under federal law. This is the first ruling regarding the classification of Uber drivers under federal law and it is surely to have a large impact on the ride-sharing industry.   The Philadelphia case,…

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13 Feb California Court Determines Gig-Economy Drivers Are Independent Contractors

  In a ruling that will likely have a significant impact on all sharing economy companies, San Francisco U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled that gig-economy drivers are independent contractors.  In other words, platforms that are built on pairing customers with products and services through the use of mobile applications can continue to do so without having to reclassify their drivers as employees. The opinion holds that such workers do not qualify for the protections offered to employees under California law.   It was…

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19 Jan The Death of PAGA Claims at the Hand of Individual Settlements

  Employers who are facing wage and hour lawsuits which include a Private Attorney General Act[1] (PAGA) claim would be happy to know that on December 29, 2017, an appellate panel determined that any plaintiff who settled his/her individual claims is subsequently barred from continuing with a claim under PAGA.   A three-judge panel for the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed a 2016 ruling issued by Judge Kenneth R. Freeman of Los Angeles Superior Court that awarded summary judgment to…

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