In November 2018 Plaintiff Yassin Olabi (“Plaintiff”) filed a First Amended Complaint against Defendant Neutron Holdings, Inc. dba LimeBike aka Lime (“Lime”) in the Superior Court for the County of San Francisco, where Lime is headquartered. The allegations in the Complaint detailed a system through which Lime, a company that rents electric scooters, avoids paying Plaintiff and its other “Juicers” for the time and money they spend locating and recharging Lime scooters and returning them to service. On September 9, 2019 the Court granted plaintiffs’ motion to coordinate all four statewide misclassification cases against Lime in San Francisco.
According to the Complaint, Lime is a rapidly growing company, which rents electric scooters in at least 17 California cities and dozens more cities around the world, including scores of college and university campuses. The Complaint explains that Lime pays Juicers on an ad hoc basis only for vehicles actually found and charged to at least 95% of battery capacity, and returned to designated “hubs” by 7:00 a.m. the next morning and that Lime pays Juicers nothing if they spend hours searching for scooters but cannot find any, or if they return scooters a few minutes after the 7:00 a.m. deadline or charged to less than 95% battery capacity. The Complaint explains that this results in Juicers, such as Plaintiff, receiving less than minimum wage for the hours they work. According to the Complaint, Lime also unlawfully foists upon its Juicers the cost of equipment, transportation, cellular telephone service, and electricity. The Complaint alleges that Lime justifies this treatment by willfully mislabeling its Juicers as “independent contractors.” However, according to the Complaint, other than the label arbitrarily assigned to them by Lime, there is nothing that makes Juicers independent contractors under California law. The complaint is here: Lime Second Amended Complaint – March 8, 2019
“The California Supreme Court’s recent Dynamex decision clearly explained the requirements for calling someone an independent contractor,” Gay Grunfeld, lead counsel for Plaintiff, explained. “Here, among other problems, Juicers do not perform work outside of the usual course of Lime’s business and there is no independently established occupation of ‘Juicer’.” She added: “scooters may seem like an appealing options for commuters, but only if the people who charge them are compensated fairly.” The lawsuit seeks to put an end to Lime’s unlawful business practice of deliberately misclassifying its Juicers as independent contractors and to recover the civil penalties that arise from the numerous Labor Code violations that Lime is alleged to have committed through its misclassification.
An article published on law.com on December 5, 2018, Employers Face Open Questions After Landmark ‘Dynamex’ Labor Ruling, highlights RBGG’s representation of Mr. Olabi.
The case is Olabi v. Neutron Holdings, Inc. dba LimeBike, San Francisco Superior Court No. CGC-18-569564. Plaintiff is represented by Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP of San Francisco and Waskowski Johnson Yohalem LLP of Chicago.