Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP reports that Lime settled claims alleging that “Juicers” were misclassified as independent contractors.
On July 13, 2021 a a San Francisco Superior Court judge gave final approval to a $8.5 million settlement in the case involving “Juicers” who charged Lime scooters and were misclassified as independent contractors. RBGG’s Gay Grunfeld, Michael Freedman, and Jenny Yelin, along with co-counsel Seth Yohalem, represented plaintiff Yassin Olabi in the case.
RBGG and co-counsel filed an action in San Francisco Superior Court in 2018 under California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) against Lime, a startup that rents dockless motorized scooters throughout the United States. Lime classifies all of its “Juicers”–who pickup scooters off the street in the evening, charge them at their homes overnight, and redistribute them in the morning and without whom Lime could not operate—as independent contractors. Plaintiffs argued that under California law, including the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, all Juicers are actually employees. The suit also alleged that Lime, by misclassifying Juicers as independent contractors, violated various provisions of California’s Labor Code regarding the payment of minimum wage, reimbursement for necessary business expenditures, and the provision of accurate wage statements.
Law360 reported in detail about the settlement, Lime’s $8.5 million settlement ok’d in misclassification row. According RBGG’s Grunfeld as quoted in the article, “This was hard-fought litigation. It sends a great message to workers that they shouldn’t settle for these one-sided independent contractor agreements that are in fact employment arrangements that reduce their compensation to below minimum wage, in many instances.”