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Amway, Welcome to the Gig Economy: You’re Being Sued Over Pay

  • Man says main role wasn’t sales but recruiting distributors
  • Lawsuits seeking employee rights at gig companies are booming
Doug DeVos, president and co-chairman of Amway Corp.

Doug DeVos, president and co-chairman of Amway Corp.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Amway Corp. has long faced controversy over its multi-level marketing business model. Now, the family-owned direct sales giant is accused in a lawsuit of ripping off the people who peddle its products by failing to pay them minimum wage.

It’s part of a wave of cases in California over who counts as an employee, a battle that’s heated up with a new state law that makes it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors to avoid giving them better pay and benefits.