Class Certification Defeated On Claims By Music Instructors Alleging Independent Contractor Misclassification

Our client, a music school, faced a potential class action lawsuit by a former music instructor claiming that he and other music instructors were improperly classified as independent contractors, and alleging various derivative wage and hour claims as a result.  In support of his theory, Plaintiff relied heavily on a form contract that every instructor signed, arguing that this class-wide evidence warranted class certification in light of the California Supreme Court’s opinion in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers. CDF successfully defeated class certification by showing that, notwithstanding the form contract, the evidence indicated the school’s lack of control over the music instructors’ performance of the contracted service on numerous factors critical to the independent contractor versus employee analysis, requiring an individualized determination on the key liability issues for each putative class member and rendering the proposed class unmanageable.


Location: Superior Court of California, County of Alameda


Alison L. Tsao

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