From the Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance Legal Blog, Richard Reibstein reports a settlement between outside sales representatives and the cell phone sales company for whom they worked. Richard writes:
A California federal court has approved a settlement of a proposed class and collective action by sales representatives against cell phone marketing company, Open Door Marketing, LLC, and others, alleging wage and hour violations of the FLSA and various California labor laws due to the sales reps’ alleged misclassification as independent contractors. The sales reps claimed they worked for Defendants to promote free cell phones and wireless service plans for low-income individuals who meet the plans’ requirements. The complaint alleged that the defendants exercised direction and control over the sales reps by requiring they send a picture of themselves at work each morning to prove their attendance at the required time; use a script when providing services; regularly attend meetings; attend pre-employment training; wear a uniform; use company-provided tablets; and advise their “supervisors” how many customers they signed up each day. The settlement includes: $82,000 to the opt-in plaintiffs; $8,000 to the two named plaintiffs as enhancement awards; $10,000 in penalties under the California Private Attorneys General Act; and $25,000 to the plaintiffs’ lawyers as attorneys’ fees. The proposed settlement was found by the court to be fair and reasonable because a significant amount of discovery had been taken thereby enabling the parties to obtain an adequate appreciation of the merits of the case; and a significant risk existed that litigation might result in a lesser recovery or no recovery at all, especially since the defendants claimed that the sales reps were “outside salespersons” who were exempt from the FLSA and state wage and hour laws. Jennings v. Open Door Mktg., LLC, No. 15-cv-04080-KAW (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2018).