Survey.com, a company that provides on-demand merchandising services to third party retailers throughout the country. Survey.com operates a mobile app through which its Merchandisers can receive schedules and assignments, report their progress, and track their compensation.
Location(s): Anywhere in the United States
Time Period: August 6, 2014 – present
The Claims in the Lawsuit
The Lawsuit claims that Survey.com misclassified merchandisers as independent contractors, and committed violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the California Labor Code, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
According to the lawsuit, merchandisers around the country were not paid in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and requires overtime pay at 1.5 for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The lawsuit claims that the only pay merchandisers received was a per-job rate, with no additional or premium compensation for hours worked over 40.
The lawsuit asserts numerous additional wage violations on behalf of merchandisers who worked in California:
Aside from their piece-rate compensation for completion of projects, Merchandisers do not receive any separate compensation for the hours they spend on other compensable activities, including but not limited to driving between projects, and taking short rest periods;
Merchandisers incur work-related expenses including but not limited to gas and mileage expenses for time spent driving between work locations, and purchases of equipment such as folding tables, table cloths, and ice buckets, but receive no reimbursement from Survey.com for such expenses.
Failure to provide an uninterrupted, thirty-minute meal period to Merchandisers who work more than five hours, or a second thirty-minute meal period to Merchandisers who work more than ten hours in a day.
Failure to make available a ten-minute rest period to Merchandisers who work more than 3.5 hours, or a second ten-minute break after six hours;
Failure to pay earned wages within 30 days;
Failure to provide suitable seats;
Finally, the lawsuit alleges that all merchandisers nationwide had their background checks procured by Survey.com without providing written consent, in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
08/06/2018: the case was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and has been assigned to Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu
How to Participate
If you believe you are owed wages from the claims in the lawsuit, you can join the case by signing a “Consent to Sue” form, which you can obtain by clicking here.
Until the Consent to Sue form is filed with the Court, the statute of limitations ordinarily continues to run. The statute of limitations under the Fair Labor Standards Act is 2 years, and 3 years for willful violations. Thus, if you claim wages from 2 or more years ago, they may become unrecoverable if you delay in signing your Consent to Sue form.
If you choose to join this lawsuit, you will be bound by any judgment on any claim you may have under the Fair Labor Standards Act, whether favorable or unfavorable. This means that if you win, you may be eligible to share in the monetary award; if you lose, no money will be awarded and you will not be able to file another lawsuit regarding the matters raised in the lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Defendant discipline or fire me if I join the case?
No! The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits retaliation and imposes harsh measures against employers who retaliate. For further information, please consult the Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet.
Will I have to testify or provide documentary proof?
Not necessarily. Many employees obtain monetary recoveries in Fair Labor Standards Act cases without ever having to appear at court or for depositions.
You are not required to provide documentary proof of your unpaid wages. In most cases, the employer is required to provide the employee’s payroll records to the employee and his or her attorney. In fact, the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that employers keep accurate time and payroll records. The employer cannot escape this duty by requiring you as the employee to provide proof.
However, it is still important that you preserve any physical or electronic evidence relating to the case that you currently possession.
Will JTB Law Group be my attorneys?
Employees who sign Retainer Agreements and/or Consent to Sue forms will be represented by JTB Law Group with respect to the lawsuit and claims described above.
You will not be required to pay any attorneys’ fees or court costs to the Plaintiffs’ lawyers at this time and not pay any attorneys’ fees unless you prevail. Rather, in the event the Plaintiffs prevail in the lawsuit, by either judgment or settlement, the Plaintiffs’ attorneys will request that the Court order Defendant(s) to pay the Plaintiffs’ lawyers their reasonable attorneys’ fees and reimburse them for any expenses.
How long will the case take?
It is very difficult to predict exactly how long a case will take. It depends on a variety of factors including the number of parties and claims involved, the rules and pace of the court, the complexity of the proofs, and the manner in which the employer defends the case.
When and if a settlement is reached, additional time is needed to prepare settlement documents, calculate settlement allocations, and seek and await the court’s review and approval of the settlement. Wage-and-hour cases typically take 2-3 years, but this can be shorter or increase considerably.