New York City “Black Car” Drivers File Wage and Hour Class Action, Seeking $5 Million

It’s a bit of a riddle: why don’t more business owners respect the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Laws? The rules are pretty straightforward and easy to understand. Yet so many businesses struggle to abide by them.

Consider the latest salvo in the ongoing battle for wage fairness: the drivers of New York’s “Black Car Services” (a company that transports business clients) just filed a four count class action lawsuit against the Executive Transportation Group et al. They allege that the defendants violated both New York Labor Laws and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by:
• Failing to keep good records;
• Failing to paying fair overtime;
• Making illegal deductions.

Muhammad Anwar filed the suit in Manhattan Federal Court at the end of April. He alleged that Executive Transportation Group Inc. et al “willfully denied drivers’ wages and overtime by misclassifying them as independent contractors… [the] defendant’s unlawful conduct has been widespread, repeated and consistent.”

Nature of the Alleged Wage and Hour Violations

Business clients pay livery drivers with vouchers: clients return payment slips to defendants, who pay the drivers. But the defendants allegedly withheld money from drivers to pay for fees and equipment and to punish drivers for “violating operating rules set by defendants.”

According to the suit, many drivers who work 60+ hours a week do not get fair overtime. Plus, the defendants’ rules cap the plaintiffs’ abilities to earn income. This arrangement also unfairly prevents drivers from doing other private work without the express consent of defendants.

Drivers are seeking liquidated damages, unpaid overtime and compensation for every week the violations took place.

Help with Your Wage and Hour Issue

Joseph & Kirschenbaum, LLP is no stranger to these types of matters. In fact, we have represented plaintiffs in some of the biggest, most game-changing FLSA and New York Labor Law lawsuits of the past decade. In the process, we’ve earned both enmity and grudging respect from top employment defense law firms and industry interests.

Complex wage and hour cases require astute preparation, deep knowledge of the legal terrain, and an abiding sense of purpose. What drives us here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum, LLP is the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. Many workers are underrepresented and poorly cared for — both by their employers and by the system.

We can help you understand your rights and fix the injustices that have made life difficult for you and your family. Call us now at (212) 688-5640 for help with your case.

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