On February 1, 2020, an employee of Spotify brought a class action lawsuit against the music company for reclassifying his employment status without notifying him. The plaintiff, Matthew Elias, was employed with Spotify for two years. He alleges that Spotify classified him as a non-exempt employee from July 2016 to July 2018, but then reclassified him as an independent contractor without changing his job title, role, or compensation.

Elias claims that Spotify “intentionally misclassified him and other employees” and “failed to pay them all wages owed.” In addition, Elias and his lawyer believe that Spotify failed to provide him and other reclassified employees with the same benefits that non-exempt employees receive under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This includes overtime pay, rest breaks, meal breaks, and reimbursement for required purchases.

Spotify Requests to Move Courts

Elias initially submitted his complaints to the California Supreme Court. However, Spotify filed a Notice of Removal on February 26 in an attempt to move the case to a federal district court in the Northern District of California. This is to avoid California’s strict worker classification laws under AB5.

Lawmakers created AB5 to curb independent contractor abuses by large companies, particularly Uber and Lyft. However, the law resulted in thousands of contract workers losing work. The commercial trucking industry was hit the hardest, with the music industry following close behind.

Spotify argues that the case should be presented in a federal court because the potential damages exceed $75,000, with “at least $110,086.40” for allegedly owed overtime pay.

Who is Part of the Class?

The case includes all current and former employees of Spotify who worked up to four years before February 1, 2020. The class also includes both independent contractors and non-exempt employees. According to Spotify’s Notice of Removal, the class includes approximately 187 current and former employees.

California Class Action Lawsuit Attorneys

When a group of employees shares a common complaint against their employer, they can seek a class-action lawsuit. In California, class-action lawsuits hold employers accountable for wrongful actions against their workforce, protecting future employees from harm and compensating past or current employees.

At the Workplace Rights Law Group, our California class action lawsuit attorneys passionately advocate for California workers. With nearly 100 years of combined experience in employment law and millions of dollars recovered for our clients, we know how to take on large companies like Spotify.

If you are a current or former employee of Spotify and want to join the class action lawsuit, give one of our California class-action lawsuit attorneys a call at 818-446-1045 for a free case review.

Click here to learn more about class action lawsuits.


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