Achieving an excellent result for a client is always rewarding, but it’s particularly gratifying when that excellent result helps a client hit hard by COVID keep their business afloat.
CMM represents a fence installation company that was sued for various wage claims, including non-payment of overtime, by two individuals claiming to be former employees. Our client steadfastly denied that the plaintiffs were employees, explaining that they worked instead for a subcontractor. The plaintiffs’ attorney argued that our client and the subcontractor were “joint employers” and thus both subject to liability for unpaid wages.
These cases are often uphill battles for employers, but after discovery and depositions, it was clear that our client had not employed the plaintiffs. CMM’s litigation team, including Jeffrey Basso and Richard DeMaio, moved for summary judgment (essentially, asking the Court to find that there are no facts in dispute and to rule in our favor). In the motion, CMM argued that there was no evidence to support the “joint employer” theory.
This month, the Court agreed, issuing a decision that dismissed all claims. The Court wrote a detailed analysis of the factors of the various “joint employer” tests and found that CMM had clearly shown the absence of any triable issues of fact as to the plaintiffs’ employment. In granting our motion, the Court relied on much of what CMM argued and the cases we cited.
This outcome is a huge win for a client whose business was severely impacted by the pandemic. Had the case proceeded to trial, the client would have had an extraordinarily difficult time moving forward with their business. Thanks to CMM’s efforts, liability for the payment of wages to the plaintiffs is with the subcontractor, where it belongs, and our client’s business can continue on.