Attorneys for Cheryl Bradley, John M. Wakefield and Maija Liisa Varda have asked other current and former site managers for SB Nation’s fan blogs to join their lawsuit against the company.
Bradley originally filed the lawsuit in September, claiming that her work for the Colorado Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey passed the legal standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act to make her an employee. SB Nation considers Bradley and other site managers to be contractors.
All former and current SB Nation site managers received a letter from the law firm of Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho asking them to join the suit. Awful Announcing published part of that letter on Thursday.
If you choose to join this case, you may be required, with the help of Plaintiffs’ lawyers, to answer written questions, produce documents related to your work as Site Manager, attend a deposition, and/or testify in court. You will not be responsible for paying any lawyers’ fees. Plaintiffs’ lawyers are being paid on contingency, which means that if Plaintiffs do not receive a recovery in this case, no lawyer fees will be owed. If Plaintiffs obtain a recovery, either by settlement or judgment, Plaintiffs’ lawyers may, pursuant to the FLSA, file a request with the Court to receive part of the recovery as compensation for their services. Any settlement or fee award would require the Court’s approval as being fair and reasonable.
If Plaintiffs and the other Site Managers win this case, you may receive compensation for unpaid minimum wages and/or overtime wages. The maximum possible recovery allowed under the FLSA is double (2x) any unpaid minimum wages and overtime. If you elect to join this case, you designate the Plaintiffs as your agent to make decisions for you relating to the litigation, including settlement, lawyer fees and costs, and any other matters relating to this case, regardless of whether a recovery is ultimately achieved.
Thus, if you elect to join this case, Plaintiffs’ decisions will be binding on you and your claims. A recovery is not guaranteed and depends on the adjudication of the claims.
You do not need to join this case. It is your choice. If you do not join the case, you preserve the right to file your own separate claim, or not, as you choose.
According to Awful Announcing, the letter states that attorneys for the plaintiffs must receive the completed form from those interested in joining the case by June 3. It also notes that Vox Media is prohibited from discriminating against anyone joining the case.