Kitchin Legal, APC Today Filed a California Private Attorneys General Act Lawsuit Against BMW Car Sharing, LLC (“DriveNow”)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Bay Area law firm Kitchin Legal announced it filed a California Private Attorneys General Act lawsuit against BMW Car Sharing in San Francisco Superior Court today. The lawsuit alleges BMW failed to pay its workers minimum and overtime wages, and failed to provide them with meal and rest breaks when it hired them to work as independent contractors instead of employees.

BMW Car Sharing operates DriveNow, a premium electric car rental service in the San Francisco Bay Area. DriveNow’s customers pick up the BMW cars in their neighborhoods and latter drop them off at locations near their ultimate destination. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has been a vocal advocate for the DriveNow venture. San Francisco worked closely with DriveNow to establish designated street parking for the BMW vehicles in several of the City’s neighborhoods under a program called ParkNow, which Mayor Lee announced in 2012.

Marcello Costas claims he and his co-workers were hired as “independent contractors” by DriveNow to manage the distribution of BMW’s rental fleet. They were assigned in teams to BMW chase vehicles and spent their days driving the rental cars from place to place, cleaning them and charging their batteries to make them ready for other DriveNow customers throughout the Bay Area.

Mr. Costas claims DriveNow violated more than a dozen California labor laws when it misclassified him and others as independent contractors. He says DriveNow failed to pay minimum and overtime wages, failed to provide meal and rest breaks, and required them to pay part of their wages back to the online outsourcing company, TaskRabbit, for managing the workers’ payroll. According to Mr. Costas, DriveNow set the drivers’ schedules, controlled all aspects of their workdays and treated them as employees, yet paid them as independent contractors to avoid California and San Francisco labor laws.

Costas’s attorney Patrick Kitchin has been designated by California’s Labor & Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”) to serve as a private attorney general in the case. “The Private Attorneys General Act is a powerful tool for California workers. By authorizing individuals and their attorneys to enforce California’s labor laws on behalf of the LWDA, the state has been able to collect over $24 million in penalties in more than 1,255 PAGA cases brought by individuals like Mr. Costas,” Patrick Kitchin, explained.

Under the Private Attorneys General Act (the “PAGA”), individuals serve on behalf of the state of California to collect penalties for violations of key employment laws. Mr. Kitchin has served as a private attorney general in several other high-profile cases under the PAGA, including cases against Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation and Forever 21.

DriveNow workers are encouraged to contact attorney Patrick Kitchin at 415-677-9058.

For additional information, including a copy of Plaintiff’s complaint, please send a request to info@kitchinlegal.com.

Contacts

Kitchin Legal
Patrick R. Kitchin, 415-677-9058
prk@kitchinlegal.com