We defended a company against a class of employees who claimed they were misclassified as independent contractors and, consequently, denied wages due to them. The suit involved several complex legal issues that surround application of the Massachusetts Wage Act. The plaintiffs claimed that, due to their misclassification, they did not receive pay for all hours they were worked; were denied overtime pay during the 60-70 hour weeks they sometimes worked; and were forced to pay for benefits that their employer must by law provide, such as workers’ compensation insurance and mileage reimbursement. Because the Act provides for the automatic tripling of unpaid wages and the group of employees involved was potentially quite large, the client faced potential damages well into the millions of dollars. The case involved multiple defendants who shared potential liability while possessing their own individual defenses. This complicated the ability of the defendants to work together cooperatively in defense of the lawsuit.
Result: We worked effectively with co-counsel on a joint defense and successfully defeated claims that our client was an employer or was otherwise legally responsible for any misclassification or underpayment of wages under the Wage Act.