A federal judge has approved a mediated settlement for delivery drivers who were denied benefits and overtime by UPS Supply Chain Solutions. The drivers had been misclassified by the employer as independent contractors. U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the Northern District of California preliminarily approved the $12.8 million settlement in the class action involving about 660 potential class members. At least 83% of the settlement funds will go to members of two proposed classes representing workers in California and nationwide.
Companies considering whether to classify people as independent contractors should take this settlement as further indication that it’s a risky business choice to take that route. UPS has changed the way it uses independent contractors based on some of the allegations raised in this case, according to a corporate spokeswoman. Judge Hamilton has set a fairness hearing for March 15th. Lead Plaintiff’s counsel is Lynn Faris, who is with the firm of Leonard Carder, located in Oakland, Calif.
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