A Florida attorney’s wage and hour lawsuit against Yelp made its way this week to a federal court in the Northern District of California. The potential class action allegation? That Yelp’s failure to pay its employees proper wages amounts to a’21st century galley slave ship.’ Sounds both colorful and very serious.
What makes this employment case more interesting than most is that the plaintiff contends that the millions of consumers that post reviews on Yelp are the aforementioned slaves. Specifically, the plaintiff claims that reviewers should be classified as employees and that failing to pay them for their feedback and content (without which Yelp “could not exist”) is actionable.
Although Yelp has been battling plaintiff’s claim for almost two years, Yelp filed a motion to dismiss which will likely be set for hearing by the federal court once a judge is assigned. With 132 million monthly visitors and 57 million reviews, shockwaves will be sent through cyberspace if the court denies the motion and Yelp is faced with the reality that it may have suddenly hired millions of employees. No doubt lawyers for companies like Amazon, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor and eBay are watching this alleged “slave ship” closely.
For more about this case, check out the article at therecorder.com here:http://www.therecorder.com/id=1202727067078/Yelp-Stuck-Battling-Reviewer-Suit
For more information contact:
Christopher E. Ng, Esq.
Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP
1880 Century Park East, 12th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90067
Phone: (310) 552-3400
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