Week Adjourned: 7.8.16 – UPS, Home Depot, Cash Store

ups logoTop Class Action Lawsuits

UPS not Delivering… on reporting pay, allegedly. The global courier service got hit with a UPS employment class action lawsuit this week, alleging the company cheated employees out of their rightful wages by failing to pay “Reporting Pay,” as required by Massachusetts law.

Cort Szafarz, the named plaintiff in the lawsuit, worked as a part-time package handler at UPS from September 2014 to May 2015 in their Chelmsford, Massachusetts facility. He was scheduled to work Monday through Friday from 6pm to 11pm. Although he planned to work for the full shift every weekday, and showed up at the Chelmsford facility every weekday ready to do so, his shift was often cancelled or shortened due to a lack of work. On such days, Mr. Szafarz and others were not paid for at least three hours of work. When Mr. Szafarz complained to Human Resources, he was told, “That’s just the way we do it here.”

Massachusetts, like many other states, requires employers to pay employees who show up for their scheduled shift, but are sent home due to a lack of work. This “Reporting Pay” law, as it is known, requires employers in Massachusetts to pay an employee for at least three hours of work, at the minimum wage, for every shift cancelled or shortened after an employee’s arrival at the job site.

Mr. Szafarz seeks to represent a class of other UPS hourly employees in Massachusetts who, like him, were not paid appropriately when their shifts were cancelled or shortened.

Giddy up!

They can Help? Maybe not at Home Depot… Consumer fraud class action against Home Depot hoping for a home run. This week the DIY giant found itself on the end of a consumer fraud class action lawsuit over allegations it failed to provide services and products as agreed.

To narrow that down just a bit, the Home Depot lawsuit, filed by plaintiff Ellen Coffen of California, claims that Coffen purchased new cabinets from the defendant for $12,000 with a $3,000 installation fee and additional $50 fee.

But… the cabinets Coffen purchased didn’t fit in the space designated for the kitchen installation, despite the fact that Home Depot installers had measured the space prior to their installation. Coffen claims that as a result, she had to return the cabinets to the defendant. Further, she had to pay for the second round of installation and the second set of new cabinets. Coffen asserts that the defendant allegedly failed to perform its duties and offer resolution when this issue arose.

Coffen states in the suit that Home Depot is in fact responsible as the DIY store allegedly assured her that they obtained the right measurement of the space to accommodate the cabinets that she purchased and that the cabinets were to be installed as part of their agreement.

The lawsuit cites alleged fraud and deceit, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of express and implied warranties, false advertising, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and unfair business practices.

The case is US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division Case number 3:16-cv-03302-MEJ.

Top Settlements

Meanwhile—back in Canada…Cash Store and Instaloans may need to borrow some dough. They have to pony up $10 million in settlement of a consumer fraud class action pending against the now defunct business. Class members in Ontario who took out loans, also called lines of credit, will now be able to collect their share of the settlement.

The lawsuit, which represents some 100,000 customers, alleged that Cash Store Financial Services Inc., broke the Payday Loans Act by exceeding the maximum cost of borrowing allowed. According to Ontario law, it is illegal for payday lenders to charge more than $21 on every $100 lent. The plaintiffs claims that the defendant skirted the rules around maximum interest rates by adding additional fees for setting up debit cards, bank accounts, and other products.

At its peak, the Cash Store Financial Services Inc, had 500 outlets at its peak.

Ontarians who took out payday loans, or so-called lines of credit from either Cash Store or Instaloans after September 1, 2011 are being asked to file claims to recover some of the illegal fees and interest they were charged.

Eligible class members with approved claims could receive at least $50, with some, including those who took out multiple loans, possibly receiving more. The final amounts will depend on how many claims are submitted. Timothy Yeoman filed the lawsuit was filed in 2012 alleging he borrowed $400 for nine days and was charged $68.60 in fees and service charges as well as $78.72 in interest, bringing his total borrowing cost to $147.32.

Cha Ching!!

Ok, that’s a wrap folks… See you at the Bar!