On March 29th, a federal court in the S.D. Indiana issued an opinion denying class and conditional certification of plaintiffs’ claims in the Scott v. NOW Courier case. Plaintiffs are five former couriers who brought the action at issue in June of 2010, alleging they were misclassified as independent contractors, along with violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and Indiana employment law protections. Plaintiffs sought recovery of minimum wage and overtime under the FLSA and various benefits under Indiana law.
In its analysis, the court stated it found "disingenuous" plainitffs' assertions that NOW controlled the maner and means of deliveries by its drivers. Furthermore, the evidence revealed that the indvidual drivers had considerable autonomy and independence in choosing the kinds of routes they wish to be assigned and schedules they wanted to work. As to the state claims, the court stated it was not persuaded that certification was appropriate or necessary based on the same problems addressed in its FLSA analysis. While the court did provide sub-groups of drivers may be appropriate, it stated no sub-groups were suggested nor were independent facts available upon which the court might determine such subsets exist.