SAN DIEGO — An unpaid overtime lawsuit brought by a former delivery driver for Silicon Valley delivery giant GrubHub recently went to trial in a San Francisco court, where a judge will decide whether the defendant intentionally misclassified drivers as “independent contractors.” With similar legal actions brought by hundreds of thousands of current and former drivers for gig economy companies Uber and Lyft, the case against GrubHub could set an important precedent for labor laws in California.
The unpaid overtime lawsuit, originally filed in December of 2015 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District, claimed that GrubHub underpaid delivery workers by intentionally classifying these individuals as independent contractors, rather than employees. As a result, the plaintiff claims the defendant failed to pay him for overtime wages and business expenses he should have been entitled to under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The claim alleged GrubHub exercised too much control over the plaintiff’s day-to-day operations by requiring he be available a minimum number of shifts and accept orders whenever and to wherever the mobile phone app indicated. GrubHub insisted the whole of its business model relied on more than drivers making deliveries to customers ordering off its technology. While the court did not grant class action status for potentially thousands of current and former drivers, if the judge hearing the case sides with the plaintiff, then broader damages for misclassifying drivers statewide.
FLSA Independent Contractor Laws
Under the FLSA, certain types of workers may be classified as “independent contractors” and be exempt from many state and federal wage and labor protections enjoyed by most employees working for their employer. The law considers independent contractors to be individuals in business for themselves and have the equipment, expertise, and flexibility to conduct operations with little to no control from a business. While these exemptions allow many hardworking individuals to earn a living and support their families, many unscrupulous employers attempt to take advantage of labor law exemptions to keep down business expenses.
Delivery Driver Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.