"Tech Companies are Next Targets for Overtime Pay Cases - Oakland Labor Lawyer" (link)

Venture Capital Post, August 31, 2015

An Oakland lawyer claims that companies in the Bay Area will soon be facing overtime-related lawsuits. These lawsuits will hit firms in the sharing economy, like Lyft and Uber.

According to lawyer Bryan Schwartz said there has been an increase of overtime pay cases in certain industries. Independent contractor misclassification cases are also increasing, especially among firms involving drivers.

Schwartz has the authority to talk about overtime-related lawsuits because he recently won a $36 million settlement against the Bank of America for failing to pay its 365 employees the proper overtime wage. It came just under the wire since it was supposed to go to trial on August 31.

If the settlement is approved in court, it will resolve all claims. Schwartz filed the case in April 2013 in Federal court. It accuses the Bank of America of erroneously applying the "administrative" and "professional" exemptions to its residential worker appraisers.

It also accused the firm for making workers regularly work from 6 in the morning until 10 in the evening without overtime pay for the subsidiary, Landsafe Appraisal Services, Inc., as well as the Bank of America.

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay eligible workers an overtime premium of 150% of their normal hourly rate for every hour they work over 40 hours every week.

Schwartz said the settlement with the Bank of America should serve as a warning to companies that do not pay overtime wages. He said this failure could cost them. Schwartz warned even small business owners, to be conscious about enforcing the proper overtime pay standards.

He said, California's tech sector will be the next industry that will be hit hardest by overtime lawsuits. Schwartz said, "There have been some interesting recent cases around independent contractor misclassification in the tech industry." This includes ordinary coders and phone workers. He said there are many groups whoa are usually victimized by wage theft in the tech industry.