California Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Misclassified Vendors
A group of workers classified as “vendors” by Field Asset Services Inc. recently won a court case, where they argued that they were misclassified by their employer and were really employees. The company requested to decertify the class, which was rejected by the court.
During the trial, Field Asset Services claimed that these workers were independent contractors, and therefore the company was not liable for their failure to pay business expenses or overtime, and that the company doesn’t dictate how, when or who does the work, arguments that U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick shot down.
“And from this conclusion it insists that ‘vendors – not FAS – retain and exercise the right to control most every aspect of their performance of the contracted services,” wrote Judge Orrick. But FAS’s statements run counter to all of the evidence giving it the right to control. As plaintiffs state, ‘FAS tells vendors where to go, when to go, what to do, when to get it done and how much and when they will be paid for their efforts.’”
The plaintiffs first filed their class action lawsuit against the company in January of 2013 before amending it the next month, bringing causes of action for failure to pay overtime compensation, willful misclassification of independent contractor status and breach of contract, among other charges. It was denied in September of 2014 because the judge states that a better defined, narrower class was necessary. It was refiled, resulting in the recent verdict on March 20.
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