In what may be the first "gig economy" case to be fully decided on the merits a California federal court finds that an independent contractor is not an employee [ Lawson v Grubhub Inc. Case No.15-cv-05128-JSC ]

The case involved Grubhub in a labor lawsuit filed by one of its former drivers (plaintiff Lawson) In a long and detailed court opinion released February 8, 2018 by US Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, who ruled: "the Court [found] that Grubhub [had] satisfied its burden of showing that Mr. Lawson was properly classified as an independent contractor." The plaintiff Lawson was an aspiring actor who made ends meet with various day jobs and sued Grubhub in 2015. He argued that he should have been classified as an employee, not a contractor. The case was originally filed as a proposed class-action lawsuit, but that class action status was never allowed by the court. It is important to note that this case was a judge (court) trial not a jury trial and was NOT a motion for summary judgment. Closing arguments in this trial were heard in October 2017.I highly recommend reading the full decision here as its a good road map to follow in making the independent…

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