Meidas Contributor and Attorney Ben Meiselas interviews consumer rights advocate and attorney Mike Fuller aka “The Underdog Lawyer” about the recent lawsuit filed by Postmates against more than 10,000 of its workers
In its lawsuit brought in the Central District of California, Postmates v. 10,356 Individuals (yes, that is the real caption of the lawsuit), Postmates alleges that it was improper for the 10,365 workers to file 10,365 Arbitration Demands at the same time and asks the Court to stop these Arbitration from proceeding in its current form.
The workers for Postmates filed these Arbitration Demands back in February BECAUSE they were prevented from filing a Class Action based on Arbitration Clauses and Class Action Waivers in their working agreements with Postmates. The Postmates workers Demanded Arbitration based on their claim that they were misclassified as independent contractors.
Corporations have spent decades eliminating the ability of Plaintiff’s attorneys to bring Class Actions. The primary vehicle for this has been by sticking Arbitration and Class Action Waiver Clauses in contracts with workers and consumers. Courts have upheld Arbitration Clauses and Class Action Waiver Clauses provided the Corporations foot the bill for the Arbitration, which was previously touted as a major victory for corporations.
Recently, Plaintiff’s lawyers have wised up and been able to organize thousands of Plaintiffs to file mass arbitrations which can cost corporate Defendants tens of millions of dollars simply to enter an appearance and potentially hundreds of millions or billions of dollars to defend WITHOUT even assessing the damages on a case.
So, now we have corporations like Postmates essentially filing Class Action lawsuits against their own workers to stop them from filing Arbitrations en masse, when in the fact the corporations stripped the employees of the right to file Class Actions by sticking Arbitration provisions in their contracts in the first place.
Making matters worse, Postmates has filed this lawsuit against its brave workers THIS WEEK during the global pandemic while Government Shelter-in-Place Orders are the norm and Postmates workforce are literally risking their lives to deliver food to the public.