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    « Chicago Mayor Vetoes Living Wage Ordinance | Main | Cross Country Healthcare Settles Wage Class Action »


    Steve Kane

    Would anyone like to comment on whether or not the analysis in JKH Ent. v. DIR applies to cases outside the Workers Comp area? The JKH court seems to base its analysis on the policy behind the workers comp law, but, a similar case could be made with regard to Labor Code wage and hour protections.

    Any thoughts?


    I am a taxicab driver for a small company in California.When I was hired a year ago, I signed a contract, calling myself an independent contractor, but I'm not at all sure I really am one.There are only six drivers, including the company's owner and his wife.I "lease" the cab, at the rate of $.45 per mile, plus a daily fee of $3.00, for maintenance of the vehicle, payable every two days. Also, I am responsible for cleaning the cab at the end of each shift, and I must buy my own fuel, which costs $3.39 per gallon in my area. The minimum wage in my state is $6.75 per hour, but after I've paid my lease, washed and fueled the car, after working all night ( my shift is 12 hors long, from 8;00PM to 8:00AM....I have no control over my hours or what shift I have) I take home between $30.00 and $60.00 per 12-hour shift, which is far below minimum wage. My question is this: AM I ENTITLED TO BACK WAGES AT THE MINIMUM HOURLY WAGE OF $6.75 ?? As a single mom, in an area of high unemployment, any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks very much......KRISSIE

    Steve Kane

    It is hard to see how the "work as basis of business" test elicited in this case would not apply to wage and hour standards. Krissie's question above involves violation of minimum wage requirements. Why would the public policy behind minimum wage be less important than that governing workers compensation requirements? How would one distinguish the two situations? The Borello court seems to try to back off from broad application of the decision, but how would one argue against it?

    There may be a huge number of people in California working for less than minimum wage as "independent contractors." Would the courts uphold this deliberate evasion of the law?



    Well, I've finally found the nerve to take some action against my former employer, the owners of the taxicab company I worked for for the past year. I contacted the labor commissioner in my area, and I filed a claim against the cab company, for wages. I don't know how this will all turn out, but I am so thankful that I found your web page, because it helped to give me the courage I needed, to take action. I have since quit my taxi driving job, gotten my CDL, and gone to work, driving the regional public transit busses. It sure feels good, to have a paycheck coming in every two weeks now! I'll keep you posted...I'm sure the outcome of my case could be of great interest, to a whole lot of so-called "independent contractors", all over California...KRISSIE

    Bernard King

    There are currently three class action lawsuits pending in San Diego asserting wage and hour violations against taxicab companies that misclassify their drivers as "independent contractors" rather than employees.

    The taxicab companies hire their taxicab drivers under similar "lease agreements." The employment status of taxicab drivers who lease taxicabs has been previously addressed by the courts in the context of workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. (See Yellow Cab Cooperative, Inc. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (1991) 226 Cal.App.3d 1288.)

    These cases are moving very slowly right now and it remains to be seen how they will be received

    Bruce Pachter

    My question is: can a courier company not pay for one's fuel costs doing their deliveries if they sign you on as an employee....thanks for any info...Bruce

    Bernard King

    If you are an employee, you fall within the protections offered by Labor Code section 2802. This section requires an employer to reimburse its employees for "all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties." (Cal. Labor Code, s. 2802.) If you are employed as a courier-driver, gas expenditures would likely be an expense necessary to performing your duties. Accordingly, your employer should reimburse you for those expenses.

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