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HomeTechnologyGadgetsEx-Grubhub Driver Wins 8-Year Legal Battle in California Court, Gets $65

Ex-Grubhub Driver Wins 8-Year Legal Battle in California Court, Gets $65

After practically a decade of courtroom arguments and appeals, one California man is lastly rising victorious in a protracted authorized combat towards Grubhub.

Raef Lawson, a former Grubhub driver and aspiring actor/comedian/writer, has gained his case towards the corporate. His criticism, first filed in 2015, is now settled. And for all these years of hearings, filings, and briefings Lawson’s triumph has netted him an astounding…$65 payout.

More vital than the monetary consequence right here, although, is the authorized precedent the case units. The ruling might essentially alter how “gig economy” corporations like Grubhub, Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash deal with their employees within the California.

Lawson’s case hinged on whether or not he was a contractor in his transient 4 month stint delivering meals for Grubhub, or an worker—entitled to minimal wage, extra time, and different advantages. An preliminary 2018 ruling sided with the corporate, and denied Lawson worker standing. But after an attraction to the Ninth Circuit and a remand again all the way down to the identical district courtroom, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley has now dominated that, beneath California legal guidelines, Lawson was legally a Grubhub worker.

“Mr. Lawson is properly classified as an employee, not an independent contractor, for purposes of his minimum wage and overtime claims,” wrote Judge Corley. “He is entitled to judgment on his minimum wage claim (count two of the complaint) with damages in the amount of $65.11,” the order adds. The plaintiff wasn’t awarded any overtime, as the court ruled his compensable time worked never exceeded 4o hours in a week. Still, 65 bucks isn’t too shabby when it comes with employee status.

Employees have many more rights than independent contractors and are legally guaranteed many more benefits from their employers like overtime and access to unemployment insurance. Gig workers have been fighting to be recognized as employees for years now, and in places like California they are beginning to make headway. Between Judge Corley’s first and last rulings in Lawson’s case, the state law changed. AB5, a landmark piece of laws, handed in 2019—thus setting stricter standards defending employees and instituting a brand new set of standards for what’s/isn’t an worker. 

It’s on these not too long ago instituted standards that Thursday’s ruling is predicated. Corley determined that the Grubhub/Lawson relationship didn’t fulfill the so-called ABC test for contract work, and that Grubhub wasn’t eligible for an exception to the ABCs. Under the check, a employee can solely be thought of a contractor in the event that they meet three necessities:

  • The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
  • The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

Obviously, delivering food for Grubhub does relate to the company’s main business. After all, that is Grubhub’s entire business. The judge agreed. “The usual course of its business is connecting restaurants with diners to facilitate food ordering. Food delivery is not outside the usual course of that business,” ruled Corley. “Because Grubhub has not established Prong B, it does not meet the ABC test and Mr. Lawson is properly classified as an employee for purposes of his minimum wage and overtime claims.”

The query of how corporations constructed on the backs of gig employees need to categorize these drivers/couriers/Task Rabbits/and many others… is a long-standing one which a number of states have been grappling with. Last 12 months, Massachusetts’ Supreme Court ruled against a ballot measure that might’ve designated all gig employees as unbiased contractors. Other states, like Georgia, Alabama, and Florida have favored the corporations

Yet these state choices might change into moot if Biden’s Department of Labor efficiently institutes a proposed federal rule guaranteeing gig workers employee status. Rideshare and supply corporations have come out in sturdy opposition to the rule. Most not too long ago, Uber and Lyft’s commerce group have publicly questioned the merit of Biden’s latest DOL nominee as the businesses try to undermine employee rights.

The entirety of Thursday’s California ruling is embedded beneath.



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