Vox Media settles Misclassification Claims with Bloggers and Site Managers for $4M 

From HRDive, Lisa Burden reports on a settlement by Vox Media of misclassification claims brought by bloggers and site managers. Lisa writes:

Dive Brief:

  • Vox Media has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a trio of lawsuits alleging that bloggers and site managers for its SB Nation teams sites were wrongly classified as independent contractors (Bradley, et al. v. Vox Media, Inc. dba SB Nation, No. 1:20-cv-01793 (D.D.C., Aug. 17, 2020)).
  • The plaintiffs alleged they were denied minimum wages, overtime pay, and other benefits under California, New Jersey and federal law.
  • The plaintiffs estimate the average award for site managers in the Bradley litigation will be $4,940.88, with a median award of $3,989.08. The average award for site managers in the Spruill lawsuit will be $9,451.49 with a median award of $7,538.43 and the average award for each Spruill contributor will be approximately $2,980.07 with a median award of approximately $2,410.20. In Reddington, site managers will receive approximately $7,360.79 with a median award of approximately $5,579.96. The average award for each Reddington contributor will be approximately $2,505.09.

Read the full story at Vox Media settles misclassification claims for $4M | HR Dive

See also, from JDSupra, Richard Reibstein discusses the settlement:

MEDIA COMPANY TO PAY $4 MILLION TO BLOGGERS IN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR MISCLASSIFICATION CLASS ACTIONS.  Vox Media has reached a $4 million settlement with hundreds of SB Nation sports bloggers in three separate class and collective actions based on allegations that they were misclassified as independent contractors in violation of California and New Jersey law as well as the FLSA. These actions were brought on behalf of the named plaintiffs and other paid content contributors for Vox Media’s sports blogging network and flagship property SB Nation. According to the complaint in one of the cases, SB Nation operates over 300 team sites dedicated to publishing written articles, videos, and other content on professional and college sports. Each team site posts daily coverage on games, statistics, player trades, and culture; the more traffic the team sites attract, the more advertising revenues Vox Media generates. The complaint specifically alleged that Vox Media misclassified the Content Contributors, including job titles such as Site Manager, Associate Editor, Managing Editor, and Contributor, by directing and controlling the performance of Content Contributors in writing and editing content for its blogs.

According to the plaintiffs, the total settlement represents 28% of the maximum estimated exposure of $14.3 million. The settlement amount was discounted in view of Vox Media’s assertions that evidence obtained through discovery showed that the ‎Content Contributors performed work when and where they chose, had unfettered editorial ‎control over the content they produced, and had minimal contact with Vox Media employees.  Further, ‎many of the plaintiffs viewed themselves as professional writers who wrote for multiple outlets, ‎often on a freelance basis.  Bradley v. Vox Media d/b/a SB Nation, No. 17-cv-01791(D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2020); Spruill v. ‎Vox Media d/b/a SB Nation, No. 17-cv-01791(D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2020)‎; and Reddington v. Vox Media d/b/a SB Nation, No. 20-cv-1793 (D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2020).




Source: Bloggers and Pharmacy Delivery Workers Are Next Group of Workers to Score Large Payouts in Independent Contractor Misclassification Class Actions: August 2020 Legal News Update | Locke Lord LLP – JDSupra

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