Class Action Suit Goes Forth to Decide if Newspaper Carriers are Employees or Independent Contractors – Los Angeles Employment Attorneys Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik

by Norman B. Blumenthal on December 5, 2012

The California Court of Appeals will allow a class action suit to go forward to decide if newspaper delivery carriers are employees or independent contractors. Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc., No. B235484 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 17, 2012).

Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc. made all their newspaper delivery carriers sign an Independent Contractor Distributor Agreement before hire. The Agreement spelled out all the items for which the delivery carriers were responsible, including furnishing their own transportation, as well as prohibited acts, such as using unapproved printed products or inserting the newspaper into unapproved wrappings.

Three delivery carriers sued the newspaper claiming they were employees, not independent contractors, and therefore covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, entitled to overtime and periods to eat meals and rest. The carriers filed a motion to certify their class, which was denied by the trial court.

On appeal, the California Court of Appeals determined that the delivery carriers all shared a common issue, the question of whether Antelope Valley exercised sufficient control over the carriers’ work, when and where they performed the services, and how they performed the services, such that they were employees and not independent contractors. The case is pending.

If you are a California worker who has been classified or reclassified as an independent contractor, or have wage and hour issues, contact Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik. Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik is an experienced California employment law firm with offices located in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The firm dedicates its practice to contingency fee employment law work for issues involving misclassification as a salaried worker exempt from overtime, failure to pay vacation wages, misclassification as an independent contractor, off-the-clock work, wrongful termination, discrimination and other California labor laws.

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