Taxi company settles citation for employee misclassification and failing to provide workers’ compensation

Employee Misclassification

A Santa Rosa, California, taxi company was held accountable for misclassifying its 30 drivers as independent contractors and refusing to provide them with worker’s compensation insurance coverage, is now settling its $522,300 citation.

In October 2016, a Sonoma County Superior Court judge issued the A-C Transportation a Stop Order judgement for the company’s refusal to provide workers their legally required workers’ compensation insurance. The taxi company was ordered to cease all business activity beginning December 31, 2016.  

An investigation by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office in March 2014 concluded that the taxi company had misclassified its drivers as independent contractors and had failed to provide workers’ compensation insurance from 2011 to 2014. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office issued the $522,300 citation in January 2015, and the taxi company filed a petition to take the case to Sonoma County Superior Court for review. However, the Court found sufficient evidence to support the Labor Commissioner’s decision.

When the taxi company refused to stop its business operations, a Sonoma County Superior Court Judge issued a Stop Order judgement. Both parties reached a settlement agreement on December 7, 2016, in which the taxi company will pay the fine in $200,000 installments until the total $522,300 fine is paid off by June 2021.

Workers’ compensation insurance must be provided to workers by businesses with one or more employee under all work situations under California Labor Code section 3700. Workers’ compensation insurance offers basic benefits such as medical care, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, a return-to-work supplement and death benefits.

If you believe your employer has misclassified you or withheld workers’ compensation benefits, you should speak with an experienced employment attorney at Strong Advocates. We can assist you in determining your rights and legal options. We are committed to helping you get the justice you deserve.