Santa Clara, CA: An employment class action lawsuit has been filed by chauffeurs for Mears Transportation, alleging the company has failed to compensate them for at least $50 million in unpaid overtime, employment taxes, and certain ordinary business expenses.
According to the complaint, 40 former and current Mears luxury car chauffeurs have been misclassified as independent contractors when they treated as employees.
The drivers assert in their proposed class action that they are given the Mears luxury chauffeurs' employee handbooks and business cards bearing the Mears logo and address and that they must wear Mears employee uniforms with name tags bearing the Mears logo. Further, they are required to drive fully insured and fueled company cars.
The lawsuit states that other than their technical classification, the luxury car chauffeurs must go through much the same hiring and employment situations at the company as other employees, specifically, they must apply for work by submitting an employment application, and go through an employee background check. They are required to be interviewed and must attend mandatory employee training, according to the lawsuit.
Additionally, the drivers allege that they must pay Mears significant sums to operate Mears vehicles and drive Mears clients during shifts set by Mears. Further, Mears allegedly does not allow the chauffeurs to have a copy of their contract or allow them to remove their contracts from Mears' premises.
The plaintiffs are seeking federal certification of their class action, and to have Mears pay luxury chauffeurs the same as Mears van and motor-coach drivers, among other claims.
Plaintiffs are represented by Thomas R. Bundy of Lawrence & Bundy LLC.