The Orange County Register has agreed to a $22 million settlement of a lawsuit brought by its newspaper carriers over their compensation, the newspaper reported.
The class-action suit was filed on behalf of 5,000 newspaper carriers in 2003 by attorney Daniel J. Callahan, who argued the carriers should have been paid as employees, and entitled to such employee benefits as workers’ compensation, The Register said. Lawyers for The Register countered that the workers were defined as freelancers in their contracts.
The case drew broader national attention in September when Orange County Superior Court Judge David C. Velasquez issued a gag order barring The Register and related media entities from reporting even on public court proceedings in the case. That order was widely condemned by free press advocates, including the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and was ultimately overturned on appeal.