Employee Misclassification: Is This Common in the Transportation Industry?

As we reported last month in our blog, a lawsuit brought against Wal-Mart by truck drivers has accused the company of stealing wages and paying less than minimum wages set by California labor laws. Employee Handbook and Forms

In an update, the lawsuit recently received class action status by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. According to LandLineMag.com, the lawsuit accuses Wal-Mart of “failing to pay drivers for mandatory activities including pre- and post-trip inspections, rest breaks, fueling, washing or weighing tractors, completing mandatory paperwork, and wait time and layover periods.”

Legal experts told the website that the lawsuit could seek in excess of $100 million in lost wages. The case concerns employees in California who worked as fleet drivers between Oct. 10, 2004 and the date of trial. Some experts have said that the case may not make it to trial and that a settlement may be in order.

Keep in mind, it is common for transportation companies to misclassify employees as a way of denying them overtime or paying them legal wages. Often, companies consider employees “independent contractors”, which allows them to skip out on benefits and pay lower wages.

Remember, even truck drivers are required to be paid at least state minimum wages. California has laws that exist to ensure that employees are given fair compensation for the work they perform, regardless of what they do for a living.

How Can I File a Lawsuit If My Employer Misclassifies Me?

If you have experienced an unfair wage and overtime issue at work, you may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation. You should hold your employer liable if it is misclassifying you as an independent contractor in an attempt to save money.

Contact us today if you believe that your employer owes you back wages or if you believe that your position has been misclassified.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys

Source: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=27854#.VEfD5RbQqCo