On May 20, 2016, a former "field agent" for Smart Circle, LLC, Signals United, Inc., OnPoint OC, Inc., and Looped In, Inc. filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California seeking minimum wages and overtime pay. The field agent brought the case on behalf of employees across the country and in California who work for Smart Circle, Signals United, OnPoint, and Looped In, seeking to recover unpaid minimum wages, overtime premiums and double damages for himself, a proposed nationwide collective under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and a proposed Rule 23 Class in California.
Field agents for the defendant companies spend their workday talking to consumers and obtaining applications for enrollment into a program funded by the federal government to provide free phones and certain services to qualified individuals. This program, called the "Lifeline Assistance Program" is offered through Assurance Wireless, a Sprint brand. The Complaint alleges that Smart Circle and the companies it contracts with, such as Signals United, OnPoint, and Looped In, jointly employ these field agents, and intentionally misclassify them as "independent contractors," to avoid paying them at least the minimum wage for all of their hours worked and the required overtime premiums for their overtime hours.
Plaintiffs' attorney Rachhana T. Srey stated, "These field agents work at the behest of these companies day in and day out, work long hours to gather these applications for the free phones, and yet are not guaranteed at least the minimum wage due to employees or proper overtime compensation. We are confident that the Court will agree with us that they are employees under the liberal definition of the law, and award them back pay and damages."
Plaintiffs are represented by Matthew C. Helland, Rachhana T. Srey, and Brittany B. Skemp at Nichols Kaster, PLLP in San Francisco, California and Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Joseph Fitapelli, Brian Schaffer, and Frank Mazzaferro at Fitapelli and Schaffer, LLP in New York.
The case is entitled, Gavidia, et al. v. Smart Circle International, Inc., et al. No. 8:16-cv-00922 (Central District of California).
Additional information about how to make a claim in the case may be found at www.nka.com or by calling Nichols Kaster, PLLP toll free at (877) 344-4628.