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Working Solutions Law Firm files nationwide class action on behalf of BioReference Swabbers and Team Leads for Unpaid Wages and Unreimbursed Business Expenses

May 3rd, 2022 Christopher Davis

The Working Solutions Law Firm recently filed a class action lawsuit against BioReference Laboratories on behalf of current and former COVID-19 Swabbers and Team Leads (or “Plaintiffs”) staffed on Royal Caribbean cruises nationwide who were not paid for all of the hours they worked, and not reimbursed for all of their out-of-pocket business expenses. 

Here’s a summary of the allegations in our Class Action Complaint:

Lead Plaintiff Larry Rosenberg and the Class Plaintiffs are bringing claims on behalf of all BioReference Swabbers and Team Leads who were assigned to Royal Caribbean Group cruise ships to conduct tests of cruise ship crew and passengers boarding or disembarking cruises in the cities of Bayonne, New Jersey; Los Angeles, California; Baltimore, Maryland; Miami, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Galveston, Texas; Port Canaveral, Florida; Seattle, Washington; or Tampa, Florida.

The violations alleged by Lead Plaintiff Rosenberg and the Class Plaintiffs include:

  • Failing to pay for pre-boarding and post-boarding work activities and compensable waiting time before ship departure;
  • Scheduling Plaintiffs for a one-hour unpaid meal break but requiring them to return to work after forty-five minutes to perform work like putting on their personal protective equipment and making other preparations so that they could begin performing tests immediately when they were back “on the clock” after lunch;
  • Failing to pay Plaintiffs for after-hours work performed “off the clock” on tasks such as performing administrative tasks, answering emails and texts, and remaining “on call” to answer the ship phone and respond to emergencies.

BioReference classified all Swabbers and Team Leads inconsistently – they classified some as W2 employees  while others were  misclassified  as independent  contractors.  Despite this, for all  swabbers  working  for  BioReference on Royal Caribbean cruises,  including  misclassified independent contractors, the conditions of employment were nearly identical.

If you are looking for information on the lawsuit, please review our filed Complaint.  We look forward to pursuing our client’s claims in court.