CALIFORNIA MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING WORKER SEEKS PENALTIES AGAINST AMWAY: Orage v. Amway Corp. et al.

In a complaint filed in California state court, a former Independent Business Owner (“IBO”) alleges that Amway failed to pay him and other workers minimum wages, provide them with the tools needed to do their job, and maintain appropriate employment records. The plaintiff seeks civil penalties on behalf of himself and other California workers under California’s Private Attorneys General Act.

Multi-level marketing (MLM) companies often employ workers as independent contractors, allowing them to avoid paying IBOs fair wages, workers compensation insurance and additional employee benefits.  Not only do MLMs often avoid paying the costs of having employees, but they also profit by charging IBOs fees and pressuring IBOs to make product purchases. Although Amway bills itself as a direct sales company, the suit alleges that IBOs spend the vast majority of their time trying to recruit new IBOs to Amway, and make few if any product sales.

Case Documents:

Complaint

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Protecting Workers with Disabilities from Exploitation: Dugan et. al v. Adelante Development Center, Inc.

Towards Justice filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of New Mexico workers with physical and intellectual disabilities who are employed in “sheltered workshops.”

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Restoring Liberty While Awaiting Justice: Crain v. Accredited Surety and Casualty Co., et al

Towards Justice represents people who paid maximum prices for bail bonds in a class action lawsuit against more than 20 surety companies and agents alleging that they conspired to keep bail premiums high for criminal defendants in California.

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Fighting Wage Suppression in the Fast Food Industry: Bautista et al v. Carl Karcher Enterprises LLC

Towards Justice combats anticompetitive practices that undermine worker power. In 2017, Towards Justice filed a lawsuit in California on behalf of current and former employees of Carl’s Jr. restaurants alleging that Carl’s Jr. and its franchisor CKE engaged in a conspiracy to suppress the wages and working conditions of the restaurant-based managers who run hundreds of Carl’s Jr. restaurants across the state

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In The Courtroom

Our litigators help workers advance legal claims that address systemic injustice. We use antitrust, anti-slavery, fraud, wage-and-hour, and common-law challenges to address the wide variety of practices that nickel-and-dime low-wage workers out of their hard-earned wages. We have represented a hundred thousand childcare workers alleging wage suppression, tens of thousands of immigrant detainees alleging forced labor, and hundreds of construction workers, shepherds, manicurists, janitors, and kitchen hood cleaners. We are leaders in challenging anti-competitive practices that reduce worker bargaining power and support marginalized people who challenge structural impediments to their advancement.

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