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SuperShuttle Class Action Employee Misclassification Lawsuit Reinstated by U.S. Court

November 18, 2011

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a federal appeals court recently reinstated a California class action employee misclassification lawsuit, filed by 1,000 SuperShuttle drivers who want to be classified as employees and not independent contractors--so they can receive important workplace benefits and protections under state law, like overtime compensation, and so they will no longer have to pay for their vans, or buy fuel.

The appeals court decision, a 3-0 ruling, overturned a 2009 ruling, where the lawsuit was dismissed by a U.S. District judge in San Francisco, Judge Jeffrey White--who claimed that only the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regulating transportation companies, has the authority to overrule the driver classification--as the PUC allowed shuttle companies to originally classify drivers as independent contractors.

The drivers claim that because SuperShuttle regulates their employment operations in great detail by directing and prescribing their driving routes, their shuttle fares and every detail of their employee attire, they should have a strong case for changing their employee status. The drivers claim that SuperShuttle has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as California law by misclassifying the employees as independent contractors instead of employees--and failing to pay minimum wage, overtime and failing to reimburse the drivers for expenses, among other alleged violations.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision claimed that Judge White must in fact decide, instead of the PUC, whether the shuttle transportation service exercises enough control over the work of the SuperShuttle drivers to give them reclassification, and to make them employees.

If the drivers were given employee status, they would be entitled to overtime compensation and meal and rest break periods, and would no longer need to pay their own business expenses, which include the cost of the shuttle, fuel, and a significant fee for the franchise.

In the City of Orange, Santa Ana, and San Juan Capistrano, California, contact our California labor and employment attorneys to discuss your wage and hour rights.

U.S. court reinstates SuperShuttle drivers' suit, San Francisco Chronicle, November 4, 2011

Related Web Resources:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Blog Posts:

California Representative Lynn Woosley Re-introduces Employee Misclassification Prevention Act, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 24, 2011

CA Governor Jerry Brown Approves Bill to Increase Willful Employee Misclassification Penalties, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 21, 2011

Renal Advantage Sued in Employee Misclassification Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 6, 2011

T. J. Maxx Retail Chain Sued For Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 25, 2011

DOL Forces Texas Company to Pay $433K in Back Wages For Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 5, 2011

CA Drug Sales Reps Sue Novo Nordisk in Class Action Wage and Hour Lawsuit, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 28, 2011

Aon Corp. Settles Employee Misclassification Lawsuit for $10.5M , California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 8, 2011

"White Collar" Exemptions under the FLSA, California Employment Lawyers Blog, November 12, 2010

"Exempt" vs. "Non-exempt" in the California Workplace, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 15, 2010