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SALT LAKE CITY — A former newspaper carrier sued the Newspaper Agency Corp. on Monday alleging it fails to pay mileage reimbursements and keeps tips intended for carriers on some routes.
Joseph Goeckeritz claims NAC misclassified him as an independent contractor, denying him driving expenses and customers' tips he should be entitled to under federal and state labor laws.
"At the end of the day, employees are employees, tips are tips," said Tyler Ayres, a Draper attorney who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
NAC allows carriers to keep tips they collect on their regular routes, but not on routes for which they're assigned to fill in, sometimes for a year or more, Ayres said. Customers provide tips when they pay their newspaper bill online, he said, adding that carriers don't interact with customers anymore.
NAC is part of Utah Media Group, the joint advertising, circulation and production arm of the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. It handles home delivery for the newspapers.
Paper carriers with NAC are paid based on how many papers they are able to deliver. Goeckeritz had no independent latitude to select assignments, solicit additional work from clients for NAC, advertise his services or try to reduce costs, according to the lawsuit.
NAC has carriers sign new independent contractor agreements every two years in an attempt to classify them as a temporary workforce and to represent that they have waived their right to employee status, the lawsuit says.
Attempts to reach NAC for comment Monday were not successful. Email: email@example.com Twitter: dennisromboy