Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced that her office has issued citations totaling over $6.2 million against the national delivery service company, Gopuff, for allegations of employee misclassification among other labor violations.
BOSTON — Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced today that her office has issued citations totaling over $6.2 million against the national delivery service company, Gopuff, for allegations of employee misclassification amongst other labor violations.
GoBrands, Inc., GB Logistics LLC, and its President, Yakir Gola, and Treasurer, Rafael Illishayev, which do business as Gopuff, have been issued three citations for misclassifying employees as independent contractors, failing to furnish suitable paystubs, and failing to maintain an earned sick leave policy. In total, 968 employees will be impacted.
Gopuff, originally founded in 2013, is a company which delivers groceries, alcohol, home essentials, and other products directly to customers’ homes. The company operates in both the United States and Europe, and currently offers delivery services in over 35 cities and towns in the Greater Boston area, the North Shore area, and Worcester County.
“When employers misclassify their workers, they deprive them of basic employee protections and benefits, and create an unfair playing field for other law-abiding companies,” said AG Campbell. “My office is committed to protecting Massachusetts workers and will hold companies who deny their employees basic protections accountable for their misconduct.”
The AG’s Office began its investigation into Gopuff after receiving complaints against the company from former and current workers. During the course of the Office’s investigation, it was determined that Gopuff misclassifies its delivery drivers as independent contractors. Under Massachusetts state law, all workers are presumed to be employees, unless employers can demonstrate that the work is done without the direction and control of the employer, is performed outside the usual course of the employer’s business and is performed by someone who has their own independent trade or business. This is commonly referred to as the “ABC test”. Gopuff failed to prove its workers met criteria in the independent contractor misclassification statute, and thus was found in violation of the law.
Additionally, the AG’s Office was able to determine that the company failed to furnish a suitable paystub for its delivery drivers by failing to include the number of hours worked, hourly rate, and deductions/increases in their pay. It was also determined that Gopuff failed to maintain an earned sick time policy for its delivery drivers, effectively leaving them with no access to paid sick time during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Massachusetts, most workers are legally entitled to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/fld. For information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the AG’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to www.mass.gov/ago/multi for materials in multiple languages including Spanish and Portuguese.
The AG’s Office has long championed the rights of workers across Massachusetts. Last month, the Office issued citations, totaling $70,000, against a pool repair and lifeguard service company over various wage and hour violations, including the intentional misclassification of employees as independent contractors. In September 2022, the AG’s Office issued citations against a cleaning company, for over $65,000 for state labor violations, up to and including wrongly misclassifying employees as independent contractors. The AG’s Office also has an ongoing lawsuit against Uber and Lyft, arguing that drivers are employees under Massachusetts Wage and Hour laws. Today’s announcement follows a brief the AG’s Office filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit urging the court to reverse a decision that misinterprets the state law that protects workers from being misclassified as independent contractors.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Amy Goyer and Justin Polk, and Investigators Christina Proietti and Kim Lampereur, of AG Campbell’s Fair Labor Division.