FLSA plaintiffs from time to time seek to include potential “deep pocket” defendants as alleged “joint employers,” claiming that the alleged joint employer’s control over the entity which employed them was sufficient such that FLSA liability should attach. Recently, another federal court joined the growing body of decisions rejecting such claims. Diaz v. U.S. Century Bank, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68399 (S.D. Fla. May 14, 2013).
In Diaz, a security service which provided security officers and related services to various clients, including U.S. Century Bank, employed plaintiffs. After each plaintiff was hired by the security service, he was assigned to work at the bank, one immediately and one following a stint at another client of the security company. The court, applying the eight-factor joint employer test identified by the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, ruled that “Century Bank's minimal control and supervision of Plaintiffs [during their work at the bank], paired with its minor role in Plaintiffs' employment process and lack of involvement in the payment of Plaintiffs, all suggest the absence of a joint employment relationship.”
Businesses must continue to be consider the joint employer doctrine when managing vendor relationships.