Joint employers can be mutually liable for violations

When separate entities seem to share common ownership and one dictates how the other operates, they may be joint employers. That may make them mutually liable for employment law violations.

Recent case: A group of laundry drivers claimed their employer improperly classified them as exempt. They said the misclassification robbed them of meal and rest periods and overtime pay. They filed a Fair Labor Standards Act class action alleging that a separate corporate organization was their joint employer. Their evidence showed the two entities shared common ownership, as well as employee handbooks and employment policies.

The court said the drivers might have a case. They will have a chance to show exactly how interrelated the companies are so a jury can decide if each can be liable for the other’s wage-and-hour violations. (Campanelli v. Image First et al., ND CA, 2018)