Do You Deliver Newspapers? State Supreme Court Rules That Carriers Are Entitled to Class Treatment

According to the Orange County Breeze, the California Supreme Court ruled last month that newspaper carriers are entitled to class treatment as employees.

The Breeze reported that the court ruled, “In California, the key determining factor on whether or not a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is whether or not the hirer has the right to control the conduct of the service provider.”

The ruling stemmed from numerous lawsuits filed statewide, including one against the Orange County Register, which secured a $38 million settlement. Additionally, lawsuits were filed against the San Diego Union Tribune, the Sacramento Bee, the Fresno Bee and the Antelope Valley Press.

The Breeze reported that the Sacramento Bee case ended up going to trial earlier this year, and the court was awaiting the Supreme Court judgment about allowing carriers to seek a class. Through this ruling, more employees will be able to join the lawsuits and settlements could increase.

The lawsuits accused the newspapers of attempting to misclassify delivery workers as contractors, to avoid obligations it would have to pay including providing benefits and overtime payments.

Can I Sue My Employer for Misclassification?

As we reported earlier this week, sometimes companies like to avoid having to pay for benefits and overtime payments by classifying employees in various fashions. In many cases, this is illegal.

If you have questions about whether or not you are being misclassified at work, you should ask yourself:

  • Are you paid by the hour or job?
  • Are your hours controlled by the employer
  • Is your work an ongoing process?
  • Do you have to supply your own materials to complete your tasks?
  • Could the employer operate without the work you perform?

If you think that your employment status has been misclassified, contact our labor law attorneys today to discuss your case.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys