California law violations regarding independent contractors, franchisees, and other IRS Form 1099 workers: Who’s Affected?
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Do you personally work as an independent contractor or franchisee? For example, do you operate and own a delivery, distribution, sales, consulting, or other type of “independent” business that provides service for a larger company? Are you paid according to IRS Form 1099?
If so, you may be missing out on important benefits owed to individuals working in California and may be able to take legal action.
Delivery drivers, distributors, owner-operators, and other route or territory owners as well as cleaning, sales, insurance, mobile repair and/or installation, or nursing professionals may have valuable legal claims in California. If you work for companies like Bimbo (aka Earthgrains), Bon Appetit (aka Canteen), BMI Distributing, Mission Tortilla, Snyder’s Lance, Pete’s Coffee, Snap-On Tools, Cornwell Tools, Mac Tools, Martin’s Bread, Vector Marketing, and others , you may have valuable claims under California law.
If you are on independent contractor or franchisee, or other 1099 workers, you may have been misclassified or otherwise mistreated under California’s worker-friendly laws. Around the country companies may classify owner-operators, drivers, distributors, route salesman, cleaning or service professionals, consultants, and others as independent contractors or franchisees in order to get out of paying benefits due to regular employers. These benefits include expense reimbursements (vehicle, tools, equipment, etc.), recovering and halting illegal deductions from pay (eg fees and other charges you pay the company to work for them each week), insurance, and overtime pay, among others.
In many cases, the hiring business significantly relies on the “independent contractor” or “franchisee” to carry out integral aspects of their business and retains control over the work performed all the while illegally passing costs and expenses on to the worker and denying them employment benefits. While companies are careful to put the right buzz words in their contracts like “independent contractor” or “independent business partner,” California law broadly recognizes that individuals performing services for a company or those subject to a company’s control should also receive the same benefits as in addition to what employees are already receiving. For example, you may be misclassified if you have a “district manager” or other supervisor that reviews your work or threatens to discipline you. Similarly, if you have set territories, days, or times you work or are subject to an “operations manual” you may be entitled to employment benefits. Under California law, employees are entitled to benefits which can include:
- Expense reimbursement (fuel, mileage, equipment, losses)
- Protection against deductions (such as recurring fees like franchise fees, storage and warehouse fees, charges for supplies, and charges for lost or stale products)
- Overtime pay
- Rest and meal breaks
- Health insurance
- Disability Insurance
- life insurance
- Paid time off
Do You Qualify?
If you are an independent contractor or franchisee who regularly performs work for a company, you may be eligible to participate in a lawsuit investigation.
The following companies are among those who are part of this investigation:
- Bimbo (aka Earthgrains)
- Bon Appetit (aka Canteen)
- Mission Tortilla
- Snyder’s Lance
- Flowers Foods (aka Flowers Baking Company)
- Pete’s Coffee
- Snap On Tools
- Mac tools
- Martin’s Bread
- Vector marketing
- BMI Distribution
- JaniKing (other cleaning opportunities)
Fill out the form on this page for more information.
Independent classification contractor explained
California law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act entitle employees to certain benefits. However, some companies try to get around the law in order to save money. To avoid paying for benefits, companies try to misclassify workers as “independent contractors” or “franchisees” or the like.
Misclassification of workers occurs in a variety of industries, and it is unfortunately common among companies that hire delivery and distribution workers, sales representatives, consultants, and others.
The need for delivery drivers, for example, increased due to COVID-19. Though the industries that rely on these workers are booming, working conditions for these drivers have only gotten worse, explains The New York Times. The Times points to the lack of benefits for these workers as one of the factors making working conditions so difficult.
“Independent Contractor” Wage and Hour Lawsuits
Distributors, delivery drivers, contractors, “franchisees,” and others have already filed numerous wage and hour lawsuits against companies for additional benefits. Millions of dollars in pay and benefits have already been paid and distributed to these workers.
If you were paid like an independent contractor, franchisee, or other 1099 workers, you may have a legal claim. Even if you experienced the following, you may have a legal claim and you may have been misclassified if:
- You were made to sign an independent contractor or franchise agreement when you were hired
- You were told that all other workers are contractors or franchisees, and that it is “industry practice” for workers to be contractors or franchisees.
Join a wage and hour class action lawsuit investigation
Many independent contractors and franchisees are essential to the operations of companies in a range of industries. However, these individuals may not be receiving the benefits to which they are entitled. Many companies may be misclassifying individuals performing work as independent contractors to avoid paying benefits like overtime, health insurance, rest and meal breaks, and more.
If you are classified as an independent contractor, franchisee, or other IRS Form 1099 workers, you may qualify to participate in a wage and hour class action lawsuit investigation.
NOTE it is illegal for a company to retaliate against you for pursuing wage claims at the state and federal level.
ALSO NOTE that just because you joint an investigation or file suit, and even if you win, it does NOT mean that you lose the rights, freedoms, flexibility, or pay that you currently get. The goal of this investigation is to get you ADDITIONAL benefits and pay ON TOP OF what you have now. The ability to make a good living does not have to be tied to a high-risk “independent” business opportunity.
Fill out the form on this page for a FREE case evaluation.