Knights of Columbus (KoC) is the defendant in a proposed class action transferred into California’s Southern District. Filed in September, the lawsuit alleges the Catholic fraternal society has failed to remit proper wages to field agents responsible for selling insurance to consumers nationwide.
The plaintiff claims Knights of Columbus has “intentionally and systematically” misclassified its field agents as independent contractors in an effort to deny the workers benefits and protections afforded under California labor law, including recoupment for business expenses. Further, the plaintiff says the defendant denies field agents mandatory family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, and safe workplaces.
With regard to field agents’ working relationships with the defendant, the suit depicts a clear employer-employee landscape in that proposed class members were, among other restrictions, prohibited from holding any other jobs while working for KoC, allowed to sell only insurance products approved by KoC, and required to work only in territories approved by KoC.
Despite supposedly incurring thousands in business costs while working for the defendant, the plaintiff claims neither he nor any other field agent was reimbursed for such expenses.