Posts tagged "1006815"

Sebago, et al. v. Boston Cab Dispatch, Inc., et al. (and a consolidated case) (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-068-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11757   BERNARD SEBAGO & others[1]  vs.  BOSTON CAB DISPATCH, INC., & others[2] (and a consolidated case[3]). Suffolk.     January 8, 2015. – April 21, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, & Hines, JJ.     Taxicab.  Independent Contractor Act.  Massachusetts Wage Act.  Minimum Wage.  Tips.  Labor, Wages, Minimum wage, Overtime compensation.       Civil actions commenced in the Superior Court Department on March 6 and September 14, 2012.   After consolidation, the case was heard by Linda E. Giles, J., on motions for summary judgment, and the case was reported by her to the Appeals Court.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Shannon Liss-Riordan (Adelaide Pagano with her) for Bernard Sebago. Andrew Good (Philip G. Cormier with him) for Edward J. Tutunjian. Albert A. DeNapoli (Emily C. Shanahan with him) for USA Taxi Association, Inc. Nathan L. Kaitz, for John Byda, was present but did not argue. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Norman M. Leon, of Illinois, & Matthew Iverson for International Franchise Association. Nicole Horberg Decter & Don Siegel for Massachusetts AFL-CIO. Stevan Johnson, pro se. Helen G. Litsas, Special Assistant Corporation Counsel, for city of Boston.     CORDY, J.  In this case, we must determine whether licensed taxicab drivers in the city of Boston (city) may be classified properly as independent contractors, see G. L. c. 149, § 148B (independent contractor statute), in accordance with Boston Police Department Rule 403, Hackney Carriage Rules and Flat Rate Handbook (2008) (Rule 403).  Rule 403 is a comprehensive set of regulations for the Boston taxicab industry, promulgated by the city’s police commissioner (commissioner) pursuant to an express delegation of authority by the Legislature.  St. 1930, c. 392, as amended by St. 1931, c. 408, § 7, and St. 1934, c. 280. The plaintiffs in these consolidated cases, Bernard Sebago, Pierre Duchemin, Ahmed Farah, and Yves Bien-Aime, are licensed taxicab drivers in the city.  They contend that they were employees of the defendants but were misclassified as independent contractors, thereby depriving them of minimum wages, overtime pay, tips, and the protections afforded by the Wage Act, G. L. c. 149, § 148.  The defendants include taxicab owners, radio associations, and a taxicab garage.  They argue that their relationships with the plaintiffs must be considered in the context of Rule 403, which explicitly permits drivers to […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm

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