Katherine Den Bleyker Obtains Rare Win in Labor Hearing

Los Angeles Partner Katherine C. Den Bleyker recently obtained a defense win in an administrative Berman hearing held before the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

The claimant, a radiologist, brought claims against a Los Angeles medical facility and our client, a locum tenens staffing company, alleging he was misclassified as an independent contractor and, as a result, was owed more than $50,000 in unpaid wages, meal and rest break penalties, and other associated penalties.

At the hearing, we argued that because our client was a locum tenens provider, pursuant to California law, they were not the claimant’s employer and thus could not be held liable for any wage and hour claims, irrespective of any other statute or potential liability. In the alternative, we argued that the plaintiff was an exempt employee and properly classified as an independent contractor and thus was not owed any unpaid wages or penalties.

Based on our arguments, the Labor Commissioner found that our client was not liable for any of the claimant’s alleged damages due to its status as a locum tenens provider. This is a rare defense win from the notoriously employee-friendly Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

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