In a blog post last fall, we discussed the different ways that transportation companies misclassify workers in an attempt to save money.
Keep in mind, truckers are often misclassified as independent contractors by companies rather than employees as a way to prevent them from obtaining overtime. Additionally, this also allows companies to deny workers benefits and other items offered to full-time employees.
In California, truckers are required to be paid minimum wages. In many cases, this includes pay for instances when they are participating in activities like trip inspections, fueling, washing or weighing tractors, completing paperwork and for wait time and layover periods.
California Truckers Win Wage Lawsuit
According to Reuters, recently seven Los Angeles truck drivers won a $2 million verdict in a lawsuit with an international shipping company that they accused of stealing wages by classifying them as independent contractors. Additionally, the truckers accused the company of charging them to lease trucks to drive.
Reuters reported that the verdict could have a significant impact on truckers throughout Southern California. The workers, who were not defined as employees by Pacer Cartage, said that they had truck lease fees deducted from their wages, as well as insurance, vehicle maintenance, fuel and other out-of-pocket expenses.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit could affect other truckers who are misclassified, who suffer similarly and are forced to lease trucks while having wages docked.
Talking to an Attorney About Employee Misclassification
If you have experienced an unfair wage and overtime issue at work, it may be in your best interest to speak to an attorney. You may be entitled to back wages and damages.
Remember, you should hold your employer liable if it is misclassifying you as an independent contractor. This is not only immoral—in some instances, it may be illegal.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys
Did You Know? Last fall, several Wal-Mart truck drivers in California filed a lawsuit over wage and overtime theft allegations, seeking millions in damages.