Uber Is Facing Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits

Paycheck lawyer is your source for updates to overtime laws in your state and at the Federal level. We keep you informed on the ongoing unpaid overtime class actions and are always searching for unpaid overtime news and alerts that may be of interest to our followers. Uber, the new interesting concept in drivers continues to be faced with class action overtime lawsuits.
An Uber  class action law suit is now in  federal court in Trenton, N.J.  The lawsuit was originally filed by former Uber driver, Jaswinder Singh, in Monmouth County Superior Court on April 22nd and was moved  to U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on May 27th.  The suit claims  Uber violated the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and the New Jersey Wage Payment Law because the failed to pay overtime to drivers working more than 40 hours per week.    Uber drivers in New Jersey and other states are currently classified as “independent contractors” under their contracts, meaning Uber has no legal obligation to pay the requested overtime wages. The Uber drivers in New Jersey are claiming they are  eligible employees because they “completely relied on Uber for driving assignments” and did not have the independence to make important decisions.

Uber has faced a series of wage claim lawsuits.  The first major case, O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc., involved California and Massachusetts Uber drivers, similarly claiming they were wrongly categorized as independent contractors.  That case was settled in April 2016.  It left the independent contractor question unresolved.   Uber drivers in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Texas have filed similar lawsuits.

Will these cases go to trial? If so, courts may have the opportunity to finally determine the employment status of Uber drivers. A designation of employee could result in overtime wages along with other legal protections offered exclusively to employees.
If courts do categorize the drivers as employees, how will it affect the Uber experience? Much of Uber’s success lies in its business structure. Designating drivers as independent contractors reduces or eliminates many expenses for the company and it allows for greater freedom for drivers.   Will Uber have to make drivers employees?This  will certainly change the internal structure of Uber,
Will Uber be able to continue settling these lawsuits? The large $100 million settlement has clearly attracted drivers in other states. We will soon see if Uber continues to settle these cases as a cost of doing business or if/when it will risk going to trial to decide the employee designation dispute.  In December, 2015, The Wall Street Journal predicted the value of Uber could exceed $60 billion, so paying settlement claims to quiet disgruntled workers seems to be a viable option, at least for now.

If you are an Uber driver and would like to represent Uber Drivers in a class action lawsuit or wish to join one of the ongoing class action lawsuits contact paycheck lawyer.


Publix Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit

Unpaid overtime lawyers have just found out that Publix settled an unpaid overtime lawsuit filed by employees cheated out of their overtime pay. Publix Super Markets, Inc., commonly known as Publix, is a supermarket chain based in Lakeland, Florida. Publix has supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

 $30M Settled With Employees In An Overtime  Claim

Publix Super Markets Inc. will pay $30 million to settle a collective action for  failure to pay overtime to department managers based on a “fluctuating workweek” calculation method.
Under the proposed deal, Publix — which operates about 1,000 supermarkets in six states — will pay $7.7 million to all opt-in plaintiffs, as well as $15.5 million to all other department managers and assistant managers who were paid overtime based on a “fluctuating workweek” during roughly the past three years. One-third of the settlement amount — or about $6.6 million — will be allocated for plaintiff attorneys’ fees and expenses, subject to court approval.

Further, the plaintiffs have requested payments of $7,500, $2,500 and $2,500 to plaintiffs Amanda Ott, Bruce Bogach and April White, respectively, for their work in representing the class.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 and  claimed  Publix failed to pay the required amount of overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act because it didn’t include employee bonuses in calculating regular rate of pay.

In 2013, the court conditionally certified a class of all current and former department managers and assistant managers who worked more than 40 hours in one or more weeks during the relevant period in a collective or class action. 1,583 employees  opted into the lawsuit.

There is another case pending before the same court accusing Publix of failing to include overtime pay considerations in holiday bonuses and other benefits for hourly employees. The chain has strongly denied those allegations, arguing the plaintiffs have mischaracterized how employee bonuses are actually calculated, and that the benefits in question were handled in accordance with the law.

If you are a Publix employee or an employee of any other supermarket and your employer has cheated you out of overtime pay, you may be a misclassified worker. A supermarket employee’s rate of pay needs to exceed 1.5 times the minimum wage.