from the losing-track-of-these-company-names dept.
In what is believed to be the first gig economy case to be fully decided on the merits, Grubhub has beaten back a labor lawsuit filed by one of its former drivers.
In a court opinion released Thursday by US Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, "the Court finds that Grubhub has satisfied its burden of showing that Mr. Lawson was properly classified as an independent contractor."
Both sides had agreed that Judge Corley, rather than a jury, would decide the case in her San Francisco federal courtroom. She heard closing arguments in late October 2017.
[...] Part of what may have doomed Lawson's own case was that, in Judge Corley's estimation, in addition to working for other gig economy companies while simultaneously working for Grubhub, he was fundamentally "not credible."
[...] Lawson, by his own admission, "gamed the app" by scheduling himself for a work shift (a "block" in company parlance) but received few, if any, actual delivery orders by putting his phone in airplane mode, among other tactics.
"Mr. Lawson's claimed ignorance of his dishonest conduct is not credible," Judge Corley wrote. "Mr. Lawson would remember if after he filed this lawsuit against Grubhub he cheated Grubhub. If he had not moved his smart phone to airplane mode, intentionally toggled available late, or deliberately engaged in other conduct to get paid for doing nothing he would have denied doing so at trial. But he did not."
[...] Michael LeRoy, a professor of labor law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told Ars that the case has "limited precedential value."
"Going forward," he emailed, "lawyers who bring these types of lawsuits should have reservations about pushing too far or long with a plaintiff who can be shown to cheat and who gives sworn deposition or trial testimony that is not credible."