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Archive

2015

Judge rules Boston police exam discriminated against minorities
The Boston Globe | November, 2015

Meet the Boston Lawyer Who’s Putting Uber on Trial
The Wall Street Journal | November, 2015

Google Express sued over employee-contracted distinction
The Boston Globe | November, 2015

More food delivery startups are sued for classifying drivers as contractors
Fortune | September, 2015

‘Sledgehammer Shannon:’ The attorney taking on Uber and others in the sharing economy
The Business Journals | September, 2015

Suing the sharing economy: Q&A with Shannon Liss-Riordan
The Boston Globe | September, 2015

What Strippers Can Teach Uber
Medium | April, 2015

Employment Discrimination
and Retaliation

Our firm is deeply committed to protecting workers from discrimination and retaliation. We have successfully brought individual lawsuits and class action lawsuits to vindicate the rights of employees and job applicants. We represent employees who face discrimination at work at every stage in the employment process: in the hiring process, in obtaining promotions, achieving pay equity, and in separating from employment.

We have won many significant cases on behalf of employees who have been discriminated against on the basis of disability, race, age, sex, and sexual orientation. We have also had significant victories on behalf of employees who have been retaliated against for raising issues of wage violations and discrimination, as well as First Amendment and whistleblower cases on behalf of employees who have suffered adverse actions and termination for engaging in protected activity.

Boston police lieutenant exam discriminated against minorities, judge says
The Boston Globe | July, 2017

SJC: Jury must hear officer’s handicap discrimination claim
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | April, 2017

Uber Just Got Hit With Another Legal Fight
Mother Jones | October, 2016

Boston-based Attorney Argues Uber’s Star Ratings are Racially Biased
Boston Globe | October, 2016

Judge rules Boston police exam discriminated against minorities
Boston Globe | November, 2015

MCAD ruling supports black Worcester officers passed over for promotion
Telegram & Gazette | July, 2015

Fired official wins suit vs. city
Boston Globe | June, 2014

Skycap who was fired after lawsuit awarded nearly $1m
Boston Globe | March, 2014

Judge orders fire departments to offer jobs
Boston Globe | December, 2006

Judge says firefighter tests biased and unfair
Boston Globe | August, 2006

Door opened for retaliation claims
The National Law Journal | August, 2006

A decade later, a trucker finally wins racial bias case
Boston Globe | April, 2003

Experts, Videos Were Key To Win In Disability-Bias Case
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | September, 2002

1st Amendment A Weapon In Cases Involving Public Workers
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | March, 2002

Shift in Disability Law Key to $800K Verdict
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | February, 2002

Practice Areas

Lichten & Liss-Riordan represents workers around the country in all types of employment litigation. Our specialty areas include challenging companies for misclassifying employees as independent contractors, failing to allow service employees to retain all of their tips or the total proceeds of service charges, failing to pay employees overtime, and discriminating against employees or retaliating against them for raising issues related to wages or discrimination.

Click the buttons on the left for more information on our work in these areas. For a consultation, call us at (617) 994-5800, or email us at info@llrlaw.com.

In the News

U.S. Labor Board Complaint Says On-Demand Cleaners Are Employees
Bloomberg | August, 2017

Labor Lawsuit Against GrubHub May Be A Stumbling Block for the Gig Economy
Fortune | August, 2017

Boston police lieutenant exam discriminated against minorities, judge says
The Boston Globe | July, 2017

GrubHub Faces Trial On Employee-Contractor Issue
The Recorder | June, 2017

SJC: Jury must hear officer’s handicap discrimination claim
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | April, 2017

Amazon Delivery Drivers Sue Company Over Job Status
The Seattle Times | October, 2016

Boston-based Attorney Argues Uber’s Star Ratings are Racially Biased
Boston Globe | October, 2016

Shannon Liss-Riordan is named to Politico’s guide to the “Top 50 thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016” “for questioning who the sharing economy is taking for a ride”.
Politico Magazine | September, 2016

Boston Police Department Ranks May Have Diversified, But Promotion Eludes Many Cops Of Color
WGBH News | July, 2016

Uber’s Worst Nightmare
San Francisco Magazine | May, 2016

Litigator of the Week: Shannon Liss-Riordan of Lichten & Liss-Riordan
The American Lawyer | April, 2016

Following $100 Million Settlement, Tipping Uber Drivers is Now on the Menu
Newsweek | April, 2016

Uber Agrees to Pay $100 Million to Drivers in Historic Class Action Settlement
Mother Jones | April, 2016

Massage Therapist Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Harvard
The Harvard Crimson | January, 2016

Meet the attorney suing Uber, Lyft, GrubHub and a dozen California tech firms
LA Times | January, 2016

7th Circ. Upholds Ill. Labor Law In Delivery Co. Dispute
Law 360 | January, 2016

Lawyers of the Year
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | January, 2016

We’re About to Witness the Class-Action Trial Against Uber’s Business Model
Money Morning | January, 2016

Meet “Sledgehammer Shannon,” the Lawyer Who Is Uber’s Worst Nightmare
Mother Jones | December, 2015

Year in Preview: What the Uber Lawsuit Means for Workers in the Sharing Economy
SF Weekly | December, 2015

The lawyer looking to kill the ‘gig economy’
MarketWatch | December, 2015

Judge rules Boston police exam discriminated against minorities
The Boston Globe | November, 2015

Meet the Boston Lawyer Who’s Putting Uber on Trial
The Wall Street Journal | November, 2015

Google Express sued over employee-contracted distinction
The Boston Globe | November, 2015

More food delivery startups are sued for classifying drivers as contractors
Fortune | September, 2015

‘Sledgehammer Shannon:’ The attorney taking on Uber and others in the sharing economy
The Business Journals | September, 2015

Suing the sharing economy: Q&A with Shannon Liss-Riordan
The Boston Globe | September, 2015

What Strippers Can Teach Uber
Medium | April, 2015

“Sharing economy” Companies

Over the last several years, a new breed of companies has flourished, which claim to be technology companies linking consumers with small independent businesses. Unfortunately, many of these companies are simply taking advantage of workers who are actually employees and depriving them of their rights under the wage laws. Our case on behalf of Uber drivers—which seeks reimbursement of expenses and unpaid tips—has been certified as a class action in California. Many companies are taking notice of the cases we have brought and are changing their practices and reclassifying their workers as employees.

For information regarding the Uber Lawsuit see www.uberlawsuit.com or email us at uberlawsuit@llrlaw.com

Delivery Drivers

For more than 10 years, beginning with our work on the cases against FedEx Ground, we have brought lawsuits in many states, on behalf of package, appliance, and furniture delivery drivers, who contract with large delivery companies, to deliver goods and furnishings to homes and businesses. Although these drivers often work full time for these companies, often as much as 12 hours a day, six days a week, and must purchase or lease their trucks, they are labeled as independent contractors and thereby miss out on all of the protections employees have. We currently have such cases pending in Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Related Articles

Exotic Dancers

Beginning with our pioneering work in Massachusetts establishing exotic dancers as employees, we have brought a number of lawsuits around the country on behalf of exotic dancers to recover back wages and tips. Strip clubs have long classified dancers as independent contractors. By doing this, the clubs have illegally required dancers to pay to work, by requiring them to pay shift fees, and to share their tips with management and non-service employees. We have recovered these fees for dancers, as well as full minimum wage for all hours worked. We currently have cases pending on behalf of exotic dancers in Massachusetts, California, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Nevada.

Related Articles

Cleaning Companies

Over the past 10 years, we have brought cases against a number of so-called “cleaning franchise” companies that have preyed on immigrant workers by charging thousands of dollars for low-paying cleaning jobs. These companies frequently churn cleaning accounts to make a profit. In a number of our cases, the courts have ruled that the franchisees are actually employees entitled to the protections of the wage laws. Several years ago, in our case against Coverall, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a landmark ruling that these franchisees, because of their misclassification, may recover as damages the fees they paid for their franchises, as well as fees paid for additional business and for insurance. The court held that these fees essentially require the workers to “pay for their job” in violation of state wage law.

Related Articles

Independent Contractor Misclassification

One of our main specialities has been litigation challenging employers’ misclassification of employees as independent contractors. We have brought cases around the country that have affected a number of industries, including transportation, trucking, cleaning, cable installation, and adult entertainment. More recently, we have been at the forefront of challenging so-called “on demand” companies in the new “sharing economy” for shortchanging workers through misclassification, including Uber, Postmates, Handy, GrubHub, and others.

Companies that misclassify their workers as independent contractors save on labor costs by avoiding the obligations of employment. Their workers are deprived of many benefits including protection under the wage laws, overtime, minimum wage, expense reimbursements, as well as other employee benefits. Misclassified employees also do not receive unemployment when they lose their jobs and workers’ compensation when they are injured on the job. These companies compete unfairly with law-abiding companies that provide their workers employment protections and benefits.

Bad Gig: the costs of being an independent contractor
Life of the Law | September, 2016

If you have been classified as an independent contractor and believe you may have been misclassified, please contact us for a consultation. 

The following categories describe examples of the misclassification cases we have litigated.

“Sharing economy” Companies

Over the last several years, a new breed of companies has flourished, which claim to be technology companies linking consumers with small independent businesses. Unfortunately, many of these companies are simply taking advantage of workers who are actually employees and depriving them of their rights under the wage laws. Our case on behalf of Uber drivers—which seeks reimbursement of expenses and unpaid tips—has been certified as a class action in California. Many companies are taking notice of the cases we have brought and are changing their practices and reclassifying their workers as employees.

For information regarding the Uber Lawsuit see www.uberlawsuit.com or email us at uberlawsuit@llrlaw.com

Delivery Drivers

For more than 10 years, beginning with our work on the cases against FedEx Ground, we have brought lawsuits in many states, on behalf of package, appliance, and furniture delivery drivers, who contract with large delivery companies, to deliver goods and furnishings to homes and businesses. Although these drivers often work full time for these companies, often as much as 12 hours a day, six days a week, and must purchase or lease their trucks, they are labeled as independent contractors and thereby miss out on all of the protections employees have. We currently have such cases pending in Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Exotic Dancers

Beginning with our pioneering work in Massachusetts establishing exotic dancers as employees, we have brought a number of lawsuits around the country on behalf of exotic dancers to recover back wages and tips. Strip clubs have long classified dancers as independent contractors. By doing this, the clubs have illegally required dancers to pay to work, by requiring them to pay shift fees, and to share their tips with management and non-service employees. We have recovered these fees for dancers, as well as full minimum wage for all hours worked. We currently have cases pending on behalf of exotic dancers in Massachusetts, California, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Nevada.

Marketing and Call Center Workers

We have recently filed lawsuits against a number of marketing and customer service outsourcing companies who purport to treat their marketing and customer service reps as independent contractors, paying them by commissions or piece rate, and failing to pay any overtime or training. These companies also require the workers to pay for their own expenses. There have been a number of court rulings finding such arrangements to violate federal and state wage and hour law, because these workers are really employees subject to the protections of the wage and hour laws.

Cleaning Companies

Over the past 10 years, we have brought cases against a number of so-called “cleaning franchise” companies that have preyed on immigrant workers by charging thousands of dollars for low-paying cleaning jobs. These companies frequently churn cleaning accounts to make a profit. In a number of our cases, the courts have ruled that the franchisees are actually employees entitled to the protections of the wage laws. Several years ago, in our case against Coverall, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a landmark ruling that these franchisees, because of their misclassification, may recover as damages the fees they paid for their franchises, as well as fees paid for additional business and for insurance. The court held that these fees essentially require the workers to “pay for their job” in violation of state wage law.

Cable and Satellite TV Installers

We have successfully brought class action cases around the country on behalf of cable TV and satellite TV installation and repair technicians, who have been wrongfully classified as independent contractors and therefore denied lawful overtime, as well as being subject to unlawful deductions from their pay. We have brought such cases in the states of Florida, Michigan, Illinois, South Carolina, and Massachusetts.

Other Industries

Unfortunately, independent contractor misclassification spans many industries.  We are investigating allegations of independent contractor misclassification in a variety of fields, and we have a case now pending against Harvard University for misclassifying workers as independent contractors.  If you have worked anywhere in the country in any industry and believe you have been misclassified, please contact us to discuss your options.

Shannon Liss-Riordan Sues Harvard on Behalf of Massage Therapists
JDJournal | January, 2016

Massage Therapist Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Harvard
The Harvard Crimson | January, 2016