Another week has gone by. Keep reading to find out what’s happening in class action news.
Amazon Prime Now – Are Delivery Drivers Employees?
It’s important to remember that just because a company calls you an independent contractor doesn’t mean that you are one. It’s up to the law, not the company you work for, to decide your employment status.
In recent years, a number of companies have been accused of misclassifying employees as independent contractors – either because they were confused by federal and state labor laws or just because they wanted to save money. The latest accused of the practice? None other than Amazon.com.
Amazon recently launched Amazon Prime Now in select cities, a service that delivers items to customers within a couple of hours. It’s a pretty cool idea – and Amazon even wants to eventually replace its delivery drivers with drones. But, in the meantime, it’s not so cool for current drivers of the company. On Tuesday, a group of drivers in California came forward and filed a proposed class action against Amazon claiming that the company misclassified them as independent contractors and that, as a result, they earned less than the minimum wage.
The suit is saying that there are a couple of points that prove the drivers are actually employees under the law. Amazon Prime Now drivers are required to wear uniforms and work normal shifts – which are all determined by Amazon. So, what do the claims boil down to, you ask? That the drivers are employees because Amazon treats them like employees and that they should be compensated as such.
Jimmy Choo Customers Don’t Want ID Thieves Walking a Mile in Their Shoes
Apparently Tuesday was a great day to file class actions, as Jimmy Choo (a high-end shoe and accessory retailer) was also hit with a lawsuit. The suit claims that Jimmy Choo had years to comply with an important consumer protection law known as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), but instead, well – didn’t. Several years ago, Jimmy Choo was hit with a similar suit, but even this was not enough to keep the retailer from repeating its mistakes and continuing to print sensitive information on its customers’ receipts.
Included in the information was: the expiration date of the card used to pay, the customer’s home address and his or her phone number. Jimmy Choo shoppers, reasonably, did not appreciate this information being displayed in such a manner. And no pair of shoes, no matter how fancy, is worth getting your identity stolen over.
Hopefully, the threat of another lawsuit will get Jimmy Choo to make some changes.
Lawsuit Says TD Bank Violated the TCPA
You get home from a long day at work, put up your feet and relax. As you’re sitting down to a nice dinner, the phone rings. And from the other end of the line you either get someone who won’t stop their sales pitch until you hang up or an impersonal recording trying to fill you in on the latest deals from - whoever. This is the cliché that we live with, and it is unfortunately very real. But what if those calls start coming in on your cell phone?
In recent years, thousands of consumers have filed lawsuits alleging that because they never gave their express consent to receive these types of calls, that such calls are a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and are therefore, not only annoying, but also illegal. According to a lawsuit filed Monday, TD Bank is the latest violator of the TCPA.
The suit was filed by one Charlene Martinez, who claimed that he started receiving calls as early as 8 a.m. and that these calls continued throughout the day, sometimes clocking in at a total of ten phone calls per day. Even from someone you know, ten calls a day is excessive.
Depending on the court’s ruling, TD could end up paying class members $500 per violation, but if the jury finds that they made the calls willfully (meaning they knew they were breaking the law), the bank may have to pay out triple that amount.
More Recalls - Has Fiat Chrysler Learned Its Lesson?
Fiat Chrysler issued two recalls on Tuesday that affect nearly 180,000 vehicles. First off, the company recalled an estimated 75,000 2015 Jeep Cherokees because the air conditioning lines were installed too close to the engine’s exhaust manifold, potentially posing a fire risk. The second recall? It affects nearly 66,000 2015-2016 Ram 1500 pickups with a rear axle problem that could result in increased wear and tear and a number of other problems.
The recalls came soon after reports surfaced that these vehicles were potentially dangerous to drivers and others on the road. Fortunately, Fiat Chrysler didn’t wait for reports of any deaths or serious injuries to begin considering recalls and even said that affected customers would be notified when they can have their vehicles serviced for free. This is how companies should operate when they find out that some of their products might cause people harm. It’s a shame that this came only after Fiat Chrysler was slapped with a record-breaking $105 million dollar civil penalty in July.
The good news, though, is that the fine seems to have worked. The penalty was in response to Fiat Chrysler’s failure to complete 23 unrelated recalls covering more than 11 million vehicles and functioned as a message that the automaker would be held responsible for their previous failures. It’s still early, but it seems like Fiat Chrysler was serious when it claimed it would approach its recall policies with renewed resolve. It’s a step in the right direction, but you’d have to be daft to not make some changes after a $105 million slap on the wrist.
Lawsuit: Apple’s New Update Causes Data Overages
Apple Inc. released a new mobile operating system (iOS 9) recently, which saw some improvements to the classic iOS system and the addition of some pretty cool features. A lot was packed into this update, so it’s been fairly exciting finding all the things Apple improved. With so much being added, however, you may find it difficult to identify all of the changes unless you actually go online and look them up. That’s where plaintiffs William and Suzanne Phillips began to notice something was wrong, according to the lawsuit they filed against Apple.
Within the iOS 9 update is a feature called Wi-Fi Assist, which switches customers from Wi-Fi to network data if it detects that the connection isn’t very strong. It can be a convenient when your wireless connection fails to load a web page and cellular data allows it to finish loading, but if that happens frequently, serious overage fees can be accrued without you even noticing until the bill shows up. The plaintiffs are arguing that Apple’s actions were deceitful and that the company didn’t fully inform their customers of the chance of massive overages.
The lack of full disclosure wouldn’t have been so serious of an accusation if the application didn’t automatically activate upon installation of iOS 9. With the size of the update, most people missed that Wi-Fi Assist was even a thing, and yet it was running in the background and, for some people, increasing their phone bills. The suit says that with so many people likely to have been affected, class certification is justified. It isn’t clear how big the class could be, but the suit claims that Apple customers are expected to have suffered more than $5 million in damages.