Gig workers of Instacart in California have just resolved owed wage claims under California’s labor laws for asubstantial settlement. The $46.5 million agreement will benefit over 300,000 gig workers in San Diego that worked for the grocery delivery platform between September 2015 through December 2020. The claims were brought under California’s Unfair Competition Law and alleged gig workers were misclassified as exempt from numerous wage and job benefits. Affected gig workers’ settlement portions will be calculated based on the number of hours each worker worked during the 5 year period.
The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2019, specifically alleged that Instacart’s gig workers or “shoppers” should have been classified as employees of the gig giant instead of independent contractors. This misclassification ultimately allowed Instacart to allegedly avoid paying its workers several benefits such as the minimum wage, overtime pay and paid sick leave. Several labor laws require employers to be able to successfully prove that their workers qualified to be classified as independent contractors via a three prong test. In this case, Instacart failed to be able to successfully show that its “shoppers” worked independently and free from their control, worked outside of Instacart’s hours for other companies, nor completed work as an independent business.
Misclassification of employee status is not an uncommon tactic in this industry. Often times employers will try and skirt these regulations in order to cut costs on employee benefits leaving its workers significantly underpaid. If you are classified as an independently contractor and exempt from receiving benefits such as overtime and work long hours, you may be owed money from your employer. Positions that are commonly incorrectly classified include:
• Delivery workers
• Construction workers
• Energy workers
• Oil & Gas workers
• Manufacturing workers
• Home Healthcare workers
Gig workers in any of these industries may not be not be classified correctly. Feel free to contact our employment law firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, for a free and confidential consultation. We can be reached at (212)300-0375 or you can visit our website here for additional helpful information regarding your rights.