The Labor Commissioner’s Office launched the investigation after receiving complaints from Asian Law Caucus, a legal and civil rights organization serving low-income Asian Pacific Americans. Investigators learned that the drivers, who worked from 60 to 100 hours each week with no off-duty meal periods or overtime, were required to pay the costs of operating their vans, licensing and airport transportation fees. The workers had been required to sign independent contractor agreements in a language they did not understand. Their work shifts, passenger lists and actions were under strict control and surveillance by the owner-operator and dispatchers. American Airporter failed to provide the drivers itemized wage statements showing wages earned, hours worked, and other information required by law.
The company and Achilles must pay the workers $92,458.52 in lost wages, $91,926.58 for overtime wages, and $28,022.13 for meal periods. In addition, $8,050 in civil penalties is owed for failing to provide the workers itemized wage statements as well as minimum wage, meal periods and overtime violations. The civil penalties collected will be transferred to the State’s General Fund as required by law.
For more useful information about making a wage claim, please see our wage / overtime claims page. And, whether you are an employer or an employee, if you have any questions about employee / independent contractor misclassification, feel free to contact us.