Partner John Vreeland’s comments were included in Law 360’s roundup of cases to watch in New Jersey in 2014. The article by Martin Bricketto cites Hargrove v. Sleepy’s LLC as a case being closely watched by New Jersey attorneys this year because it has “the potential to affect employers statewide.” The New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in this case could clarify the test that courts should use to determine employment status under the state Wage Payment Law and Wage and Hour Law.
Mr. Vreeland, Director of the firm’s Wage & Hour Compliance Practice Group, offered his thoughts on the implications of this impending decision, which stems from a class action suit brought by on-call delivery drivers for Sleepy's who contend the mattress company wrongfully classified them as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime. He stated: "The fallout from the ruling could be significant since misclassification of employees can leave companies on the hook for significant wage, unemployment insurance and tax obligations, not to mention interest and liquidated damages...These are the kinds of things that can be company killers."
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