Zheng v. Liberty Apparel Co., No. 09-4890, involved an action claiming that defendants acted as a joint employer of the plaintiff garment workers, and were liable for unpaid and underpaid wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, New York state analogs, and New York Labor Law section 345-a(1). The court affirmed judgment for plaintiffs on the ground that the district court properly allowed the jury to make the joint-employment determination.
As the court wrote: "Plaintiffs-appellees are 25 Chinese garment workers living and working in New York City's Chinatown. In 1999, they sued Liberty Apparel Company and its principals Albert Nigri and Hagai Laniado (collectively, "the Liberty Defendants"), and others, for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., New York state analogs, see N.Y. Labor Law § 652(1); N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 12, § 142-2.2, and New York Labor Law § 345-a(1). After a lengthy procedural history, the case went to a jury trial, and the principal issue was whether the Liberty Defendants were plaintiffs' "joint employer" for purposes of the FLSA and New York state analogs. The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiffs, and following resolution of various post-trial motions, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Sullivan, J.) entered judgment accordingly."
- Full Text of Zheng v. Liberty Apparel Co., No. 09-4890