ConsumerXpress LLC, which does business as CAC Services, faces a proposed class and collective action that claims the inspection company has misclassified field service agents as independent contractors and denied the workers proper wages.
According to the lawsuit out of California, CAC Services field service agents should have been classified as bona fide employees and entitled to worker protections under state and federal laws, including the right to receive minimum and overtime wages, reimbursement for business expenses and off-duty meal and rest breaks. As a result of their misclassification, the workers were denied these protections in contravention of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California Labor Code, the suit charges.
Per the complaint, CAC Services provides contact letter delivery and vehicle and commercial site inspections for the financial services industry. Field service agents, the case says, are responsible for “‘field chase’ inspection, document signing/courier and other duties” at residential and commercial locations throughout Tulare and Kern Counties in California. Although the workers were classified as independent contractors, CAC Services, the lawsuit alleges, treated them more like bona fide employees in that the agents were not free from the company’s control, performed work in the usual course of the company’s business, and were not customarily engaged in “an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.”
The lawsuit claims field service agents, as part of their inspection duties, were required to provide their own smart phones or digital cameras to take photos of vehicles prior to repossession or salvage, as well as their own computers and printers to upload and print standardized inspection forms and delinquency notices. Per the case, the defendant failed to defray the costs of using the phones and cameras and printing and assembling the notices.
Moreover, field service agents were not reimbursed for the costs of using their own vehicles to drive to job locations, including expenses related to mileage, wear and tear, maintenance and fuel and other related expenses incurred for the defendant’s benefit, the suit argues. The plaintiff, who worked for the defendant since 2015, claims he typically drove at least 100 miles per week in connection with his field service work.
Per the case, field service agents were subject to CAC Services’ control in that they had no say in their pay rates and were required to complete the defendant’s training program and adhere to the company’s standard operating procedures. In the field, the workers were subject to CAC Services’ review, corrections and instructions, according to the suit. The lawsuit contends that these job characteristics indicate that the workers were non-exempt employees and not independent contractors as defined under state and federal law.
“Plaintiff and the Class Members were never independent contractors, but were at all times employees of Defendant,” the complaint says. “Defendant hired/fired, issued pay, supervised, directed, disciplined, scheduled and performed all other duties generally associated with that of an employer with regard to Plaintiff and Class Members.”
The plaintiff goes on to claim that when his unreimbursed expenses were subtracted from his wages, he was paid less than the statutory minimum wage in California. Moreover, the plaintiff says he and other workers were not provided with statutory meal and rest breaks nor itemized wage statements that included all information required by state law.
Per the suit, the defendant’s decision to pay workers in contravention to California law was “willful and was not based on a good faith and reasonable belief that its conduct complied with the law.”
The lawsuit looks to represent current and former field agents who worked for CAC Services in California at any time within the past four years and through the date of final disposition in the case and were classified as independent contractors.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.