Handy App Faces Labor Violations Lawsuit from Two Former Independent Contractors
Self-employment through mobile apps and websites is booming – businesses like Uber and Lyft hire drivers under 1099 tax forms so the employees use their own vehicles; AirBNB allows individuals to rent out rooms in their homes for various amounts of time so travelers have a nice place to stay; and apps like TaskRabbit and Handy allow people with extra time to run errands and perform cleaning services at various rates for individuals who hire them. However, all of these services hire non-developer employees as independent contractors, which means that drivers, cleaners, and home renters do not qualify for benefits like workers compensation.
Two former employees of the mobile app Handy, who were hired as independent contractors, are suing the company because they – like many employees who have suffered because of their independent contractor status – believe they were treated as employees by the company , They therefore contend that they should not be denied basic benefits like workers compensation or Social Security taxes.
The former employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming that Handy used independent contractor applications as a method of saving money and dodging liability in workers compensation filings. Many other former employees of companies have sued regarding their classification as an independent contractor recently, including several former FedEx workers, numerous South Carolina-based exotic dancers, and drivers with Uber.
The class action lawsuits, including the most recent one against Handy, use the definition of “employee” offered on the IRS website:
“For instance, an employer-employee relationship is more likely to exist where the business dictates and controls the following:
- When and where the worker performs his or her work.
- What tools or equipment the worker should use to perform the work.
- Where to purchase supplies and services.
- What assistants to hire to help perform the work.
- What work must be performed by a specified individual.
- What order or sequence should be followed in performing the work.
- What training the business gives to the worker, especially if the worker is trained to perform their work in a manner chosen by the business.”
According to the class action lawsuit, Handy controlled more than just rates for independent contractors, including what cleaning supplies they should use, how cleaning should be performed, when they were allowed to take breaks or even listen to music, and giving employees a uniform so they would be recognizable to people who ordered cleaning services.
The claim states: “Due to this unlawful misclassification of Cleaners, Handy has violated numerous provisions of the California Labor Code, including failure to compensate Class Members for all overtime hours worked despite the fact that Plaintiffs and Class Members regularly work overtime, failure to pay a minimum wage for all hours worked, failure to provide meal and rest periods, failure to pay all earned wages at the conclusion of employment, failure to adequately reimburse Class Members for business expenditures incurred and required by their jobs, failure to remit gratuities to Class Members, and failure to furnish timely statements accurately showing, among other things, the total hours Class Members worked during each pay period.”
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Compensation Claims in South Carolina
Any full-time employee (working for an employer with four or more employees) who has an employment related injury and needs medical attention should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It doesn’t matter if the injury was a complete accident or the fault of a co-worker.
The South Carolina workers compensation lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you have been injured on the job, give us a call. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.