Deja Vu Performers to Get $6.5 Million Settlement in Misclassification Lawsuit
The gig economy has seen massive growth in recent years with more and more independent contractors working in California. Unfortunately, sometimes workers are misclassified as independent contractors when they are actually employees.
Employers may unlawfully label workers as independent contractors to avoid paying minimum wage or overtime, providing meal breaks, or complying with other wage and hour laws. Not only do workers lose out on wages, but they also do not receive basic worker protections that employees are entitled to receive.
Deja Vu Services, which operates nightclubs in California and around the world, was accused of intentionally misclassifying its performers as independent contractors in violation of state labor laws. In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, plaintiffs claimed Deja Vu should have paid and treated workers as employees.
Deja Vu agreed to pay a $6.5 million settlement in the wage and hour class action lawsuit. However, the company did not admit any wrongdoing.
According to the lawsuit, Deja Vu deliberately misclassified workers to avoid paying them minimum wage. Additionally, the company did not let the class members keep the tips they received from customers. It also allegedly charged them rent for each night they worked in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The settlement applies to performers who worked as independent contractors at San Francisco area clubs any time between August 8, 2010, and November 16, 2018. Dancers who worked at Greater California clubs from February 8, 2017, to November 16, 2018, are also eligible for compensation. The amount depends on which club location they worked at and how long.
Along with obtaining compensation for workers, the lawsuit was also successful in getting the employer to change its unlawful practices. Deja Vu agreed to pay all nightclub performers according to state wage and hour laws going forward. The settlement established a new policy for ensuring workers are classified properly.
New dancers will undergo an initial evaluation period and interview with Deja Vu management. Based on their circumstances, a determination will be made as to whether the worker would benefit more from being classified as an independent contractor or an employee. Performers classified as employees will be entitled to minimum wage and tips, while independent contractors will receive more flexibility in selecting their outfits and hours.
Worker misclassification is a tricky area of the law, and many workers are often unaware of their rights. If you suspect you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, an experienced employment lawyer can evaluate your situation and provide legal advice.
At McCormack Law Firm, we are dedicated to holding employers accountable for violating California wage and hour laws. While we were not involved with this class action lawsuit, our San Francisco employment lawyers have experience representing workers in misclassification claims. We can help you pursue compensation and hold your boss accountable for their unlawful labor practices.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation. There is no fee to speak with a lawyer about your case.
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