We presently represent a former Life Alert Emergency Response sales person who was employed at 550 North Continental Boulevard Suite 185 in El Segundo, California 90245. The former Life Alert salesman was improperly classified as an independent contractor. The hours he had to work for Life Alert were set by Life Alert. The times he had to work for Life Alert were set by Life Alert. He worked on Life Alert’s premises. If he did not come to work as required by the employer, he was not given any sales leads. If he did not come to Life Alert’s office and work six days a week he did not get any sales leads. He was told a company policy existed whereby if the salesman did not come to work for five consecutive days his leads were distributed to other sales people. Our former Life Alert salesman did not earn any hourly wage and was paid merely based upon sales commissions. For all of the many hours worked, our former sales person of Life Alert was paid an average of approximately $2.60 per hour. Minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. Additionally, he did not receive proper itemizations on this paychecks explaining why he was paid what he was paid, there are concerns he was not paid commissions properly on his sales. Questions also exist as to whether he did not have a proper contract for commissions. The California Labor Code requires that the terms of employee commission agreements be in writing.

If other sales people at Life Alert were not paid a minimum of $8.00 an hour for every hour they worked at Life Alert, and were not paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of eight in a day or 40 in a week, we believe a class action against Life Alert would be appropriate for these violations. In addition, the law requires workers to be treated as employees if their employer controls the aspects of their employment as an employer would. In the case of the Life Alert sales person, there is no legitimate legal basis for Life Alert to have treated our client as an independent contractor. He was entirely under Life Alert’s control as an employee would be. The issue of lack of written commission agreements may also create a class action.

We are also interested in reaching witnesses to the situation involving Life Alert sales people not being paid at least minimum wage for every hour they work, not being paid overtime, and being improperly treated as an independent contractor. We are interested in finding out if the sales people at both the El Segundo and Encino location were treated in the same fashion which violates California labor laws.

In order to assess whether you are an independent contractor, consider whether:

  1. You work on the employer’s premises
  2. You use the employer’s equipment to do your work
  3. The employer sets your schedule (start and stop times and number of hours per day)
  4. You are disciplined if you declined to work as requested by the employer
  5. You do the normal business of the employer is engaged in. For example, you are not coming in to repair a piece of equipment that rarely breaks, or providing IT assistance when needed

Improper treatment of an employee as an independent contractor leads to several remedies for the employee. These remedies include:

  1. A monetary fine to the employer for improperly classifying an employee as anindependent contractor
  2. Back pay at minimum wage for ever hour worked for each pay period the employee’s commissions paid to them did not equal minimum wage for that pay period
  3. Potential overtime and double time pay
  4. Fines to the employer for not properly giving employees written sales commission contracts
  5. Penalties payable to the employee for the employer not properly itemizing why the employee was paid what they were paid on their paycheck

We believe Life Alert may attempt to get its sales people to sign binding arbitration agreements in order to prevent a class action now that the issue of their sales people being improperly classified as an independent contract has arisen. If you have questions about whether you should sign a binding arbitration agreement with Life Alert as a sales person, please contact us at 1-877-525-0700.

Our experienced labor lawyers can be reached at 1-877-525-0700 if you have any questions about being improperly paid, or the potential class action against Life Alert for misclassifying their salespeople as independent contractors. Ask for Karl Gerber or Ann Guleser. They are the attorneys working on the Life Alert salespeople case.