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Sutton v. United Courier

Wage and Hour Law

This case asserts claims on behalf of couriers/delivery drivers employed by United Courier who have been classified as “independent contractors.”

The case is still pending. The plaintiffs have successfully moved for FLSA collective action certification. The plaintiffs have also moved for partial summary judgment on the legal standard that applies to the reimbursement claims. On or before January 17, 2022, the plaintiffs will make a Motion for Rule 23 Class Certification.

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Case Details


Biller & Kimble filed this lawsuit on behalf of couriers at United Courier.

The Claim

The lawsuit claims that the company’s policy of classifying the couriers as “independent contractors” is improper. And, because the workers are “employees” not “independent contractors,” the company must ensure that the couriers receive (among other things) minimum wage and overtime wages for the hours they work.

What Happened

When determining whether a worker is an “employee” or can be treated as an independent contractor, the law considers the “economic reality” of the situation. In the Sixth Circuit, courts consider the following factors:

  1. The permanency of the relationship between the parties
  2. The degree of skill required for the rendering of the services
  3. The worker’s investment in equipment or materials for the task
  4. The worker’s opportunity for profit or loss
  5. The degree of the alleged employer’s right to control the manner in which the work is performed
  6. Whether the service rendered is an integral part of the alleged employer’s business.

Keller v. Miri Microsystems LLC, 781 F.3d 799 (6th Cir. 2015).

The plaintiffs allege that all of the factors weigh in favor of them being “employees” and not “independent contractors.”

On or before January 17, 2022, the plaintiffs will file a Motion for Rule 23 Class Certification, whereby they will seek to adjudicate the claims of all of the company’s couriers.

If you would like more information about this case, or if you have questions about your own designation as an “independent contractor,” give our office a call.

Update 08-18-2021

On September 3, 2021, Biller & Kimble filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.

In their Motion, the plaintiffs ask the Court to conclude that companies who require their workers to provide cars to use at work must reimburse the workers for the costs associated with those cars in one of two ways: they must either (1) keep records of and reimburse for the drivers’ actual expenses, or (2) reimburse at the IRS standard business mileage rate.

In this case, the plaintiff alleges that, applying this standard, the company has paid their couriers less than minimum wage for some, if not all, of the hours they have worked.

If you have joined this lawsuit as an FLSA opt in plaintiff, and you have not yet completed responses to the discovery requests issued by the defendants, please contact our office right away. The deadline to submit discovery responses is _______. When you call our office, we can answer any questions you have and help guide you through the process of what information you will need to gather and provide to the defendants. Based on our conversation, we will prepare written responses on your behalf and send them to you for review, edit, and final sign off.

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