Drivers

Federal Court Rules Against XPO in Driver Misclassification Case

May 24, 2017

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Photo: Port of Long Beach
Photo: Port of Long Beach

A federal district court judge has issued a judgment in favor of five port and rail truck drivers against XPO Cartage in a driver misclassification lawsuit, awarding the drivers $958,660 in reimbursement plus attorney's fees and costs.

The California Labor Commission had previously issued awards to the five drivers following hearings that found they had been misclassified as independent contractors. XPO Cartage appealed those five decisions in California Superior Court and the case was moved to Federal court. Attorneys for the Labor Commission defended the decisions on behalf of the drivers.

After a four-day bench trial and post-trial briefing, Judge William Keller of  the U.S. Central District Court of California ruled the cases were not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 and that all five drivers were entitled to reimbursement for expenses and deductions owed to them as full employees of XPO Cartage.

The driver misclassification issue is driven by drivers serving the ports who are classified as independent contractors but due to restrictions explicitly or implicitly enforced on them, are unable to realistically work for another company and do not own their own equipment. Because they are not technically employees of the companies they work for, in some cases drivers are not able to access basic benefits that regular employees are legally entitled to.

"The United States District Court's decision in this case vindicates the rights of five employees who have sought for years to recoup the deductions unlawfully withheld from their wages due to being misclassified as independent contractors," said California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. "My office is dedicated to ensuring workers are paid what they are due under the law and ensuring workers are properly classified."

The ruling against XPO Cartage is just the latest in a long string of driver misclassification lawsuits affecting port drivers. These suits have cost carriers millions of dollars and in some cases have contributed to trucking companies going out of business.

As of the time of publishing, HDT is awaiting comment from XPO and the story will be updated with any new information we receive. 

Comments

  1. 1. MARLENE [ June 20, 2017 @ 06:32AM ]

    THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE INDUSTRY/CUSTOMERS, DO NOT SUPPORT CLEAN TRUCKS, AND HAVE NOT ALLOWED FOR THE INCREASED COST. CAUSING BANKRUPTCY, FOR CARRIERS, AND FOR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. BOTTOM LINE IS THERE IS NO MONEYS AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT EMPLOYEE DRIVERS, PROVIDE BENEFITS, OR SUPPORT THE TAX BURDEN, WITH PROFIT MARGINS SQUEEZED TO A MINIMUM. LETS GET THE REAL TRUTH OUT THERE. THE DRIVERS, ARE OBLIVIOUS TO WHAT THEY ARE ASKING FOR, YOU CANT SQUEEZE OUT INCREASED COSTS, WHEN THERE IS NO REVENUE DOES NOT SUPPORT IT. AND YOU CANT RUN A BUSINESS WITH NO PROFIT! OR CONTINUE RUNNING ON PENNIES.

  2. 2. steve webster [ July 15, 2017 @ 05:58PM ]

    The main problem is no freight should move for less than $1.80 us per mile in a dry van or $2.00 us per mile That requires a reefer plus $60.00 us per hour for all loading and unloading time. Owner should get 90% if pulling their trailer from the broker of the gross rate Company drivers need to have health insurance while on U.S. soil and be paid at least $18.00 us per hour for all hours worked while the U.S. off the E-log in Dec.,with overtime after 19 hours on duty and or 9 hours driving per day. Canada needs to the same but pay the truck drivers $23.00 cnd. per hour while in Canada. Rates to private cars like Uber should 80 cents us. per mile to to the car and waiting time at 30 cents per minute with the broker taxi or ride share( like uber) limited to 10%

  3. 3. Samuel Gallezzo [ July 29, 2017 @ 04:55AM ]

    If you can't run a trucking company without cheating or ripping off drivers then you need to get out of the business. Truckers are the lifeblood of our country and our economy. If you missclassify a driver as a contractor you did it knowingly and willfully. You need to correct it or be shut down.

 

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