Delivery service wants case removed to federal court

By Charmaine Little | Jun 22, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO – A same-day delivery service cited the Class Action Fairness Act as it main argument to remove a class action labor dispute involving delivery couriers.

The motion was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The delivery service, Deliv Inc. filed the notice June 18 in response to a class action suit filed May 18 by Raef Lawson in the Superior Court of California.

Lawson's complaint accuses Deliv of breaking policies and regulations in the California Labor Code, the California Unfair Competition Law and the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). 

The complaint alleges Deliv incorrectly categorized itself as independent contractors. The suit seeks declaratory relief and penalties outlined in the PAGA, such as “compensatory damages, including all expenses, and injunctive relief," that would require Deliv to follow the California Labor Code.

Deliv has maintained it didn’t break any regulations and stated its right to request the court to compel arbitration. However, Deliv stated the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) as the key reason for its notice of removal from the state court.

Under CAFA, federal courts are given jurisdiction for classes that have at least 100 people and seek amounts of more than $5 million. Deliv pointed both issues are satisfied in the case. 

When it comes to the amount, Deliv alleges the mileage expenses, cellphone costs, minimum wage penalties and PAGA consequences, along with attorney fees easily exceed the $5 million threshold.

Deliv added that minimal diversity is a concern as the class consists of individuals who are not residents of California. This meets another requirement via CAFA.

Deliv also argued the district court was the proper venue for removal as it is the court where Lawson initially submitted the claim against Deliv. 

Deliv added it will provide Lawson and his lawyers with a written notice.

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