Consultant “Coaches” Able to Proceed with Misclassification Lawsuit

Optimized-arthur-edelman-474009-unsplash hockey coach
Photo by Arthur Edelman on Unsplash


From JDSupra, Richard Reibstein discusses a case in which a company was denied summary judgment on claims that coaches of a business that provided coaching and consulting services were misclassified as independent contractors. Richard writes:

ENERGY AND PETROCHEMICAL SERVICES COMPANY IS NOT ENTITLED TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN IC MISCLASSIFICATION COLLECTIVE ACTION BY CONSULTING “COACHES”.  An Oklahoma federal court has denied the summary judgment motion of Check-6, Inc., a company in the business of providing consulting services in the energy, manufacturing, mining, petrochemical and transportation industries brought against it by consulting “coaches” who provided services at the work sites of Check-6’s clients. A collective group of coaches, consisting of the named plaintiff and 18 opt-ins, claimed that they were denied overtime compensation under the FLSA due to their alleged misclassification as independent contractors and not employees.  In its decision, the court stated that the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has “repeatedly denied summary judgment motions where there remained disputed facts material to the classification of workers as employees or independent contractors.” Applying the six-factor “economic realities” test, the court found that a reasonable trier of fact could find that the facts supported a determination that the coaches were employees and not independent contractors; therefore, the court held, summary judgment must be denied. Specifically, the court found that the evidence was in dispute as to four of the six factors:  the degree of control over the coaches; their opportunity for profit and loss; their investment in the their individual business; and the permanence of the parties’ working relationship. Goodly v. Check-6, Inc., No. 16-CV-334-GKF-JFJ (N.D. Okla. Oct. 18, 2018).

Source: October 2018 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update | Locke Lord LLP – JDSupra

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