Dog walkers win $1 million in misclassification lawsuit against Wag Labs

Worker classification has been under a lot of debate following last year’s California Supreme Court decision. The court called for employers to use a stricter legal test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.

The ruling is likely to have a significant impact on thousands of people who work for gig economy companies like GrubHub, Postmates, Uber, Lyft and many others. The state Assembly recently passed a bill that would make it harder for employers to label workers as independent contractors instead of employees.

Earlier this year Wag Labs Inc., a company that uses a mobile app to connect dog owners with dog walkers, was sued for worker misclassification in California. The lawsuit reached a preliminary settlement of around $1 million.

Wag Labs has been described in the past as “Uber for dogs.” Almost 38,000 of its part-time dog walkers claimed they were misclassified as independent contractors and denied the legal protections given to employees. As a result of the misclassification, they were paid less than minimum wage.

Lead plaintiff Gary D. filed the class action lawsuit in September 2017. He said Wag Labs dog walkers were required to work off the clock. They were not paid for time spent getting ready for walks, harnessing and de-harnessing dogs, or waiting for directions to the dog owner’s home. Wag Labs was also accused of failing to provide wage statements and reimburse business expenses.

Worker misclassification is a serious problem. A small change in status from independent contractor to employee can make a huge difference to workers. They become eligible for labor protections under state law, various benefits, meal and rest breaks, overtime pay, and a guaranteed minimum hourly wage.

Read more

wrongful termination attorney

Cheesecake Factory sued for firing worker in retaliation for discrimination complaint

A former Cheesecake Factory employee filed a wrongful termination and retaliation lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the popular restaurant chain. She was allegedly fired in retaliation for complaining about a…

disability discrimination lawyer

LAPD officer wins $1 million in disability discrimination lawsuit

Just because an employee has a disability does not mean they must stop working. Under the law, employees with disabilities have a right to keep their jobs and seek damages against employers…

wage violation lawyer

Sushi restaurant ordered to pay almost $30,000 in back wages to cooks

Employers looking to cut corners may sometimes think they can get away with not paying employees all the wages they have earned. Not only does such behavior result in employees missing out…

wage theft lawyer

Senior care facility fined for wage theft after state investigation

Employees in certain industries are required to work overtime or be on call. Under California law, they must be paid for all time spent working beyond their regular hours. Employers are also…