CWS 3.0: July 8, 2015

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Crowdsourcing supplier settles class action lawsuit

CrowdFlower agreed to pay $585,507 to settle a class action lawsuit brought by crowdsourced workers who claim they were misclassified as independent contractors and paid less than the legal minimum wage, according to court records.

A judge approved the settlement with the crowdsourcing firm on July 2 after rejecting an earlier settlement effort last year.

Crowdsourcing involves taking large tasks or a big project and breaking them down into small tasks that online workers can complete in a few minutes without using any special skill. The most common CrowdFlower task is verifying business listings, according to the lawsuit.

There are an estimated 19,992 class members in the lawsuit, according to court records. Settlements class members are to receive will range from $2.09 to $3,230.49 based on their earnings under CrowdFlower. However, Christopher Otey and Mary Greth will receive $6,000 and $5,000, respectively, for serving as named plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Class members include all US-based CrowdFlower workers who performed $5 or more in tasks through Amazon Mechanical Turk’s crowdsourcing site from Oct. 26, 2009, through approval of the settlement this month.

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