Fleet Management

Former Driver Trainee Files Lawsuit Against Roehl Transport

October 08, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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UPDATED--A $5 million lawsuit has been filed against Roehl Transport over allegations that it paid student truck drivers less than the federal minimum wage.

The lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, John Morales III of Monticello, Ind., claims he became a student driver at the Wisconsin-based carrier in April and was paid $300 per week for working up to 70 hours per week, far short of the federal minimum wage and a violation of federal law, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.

The suit is seeking class action status for thousands of student drivers who went through Roehl’s training program over the last three years. It also seeks to prohibit Roehl from continuing to maintain the training program that violates wage laws, compensation to student drivers for the pay and benefits they should have received and reasonable legal costs and fees.

Roehl has denied the allegations, according to the Marshfield News-Herald, saying that Morales left the training program before he completed it and that pay was more than Morales claims and is above the federal minimum wage. 

Update corrects a typo in the first graph.

Comments

  1. 1. Kevin J. Reidy [ October 09, 2013 @ 04:07AM ]

    Until the drivers employed at the larger carriers finally wake up an demand hourly pay and are included under the Fair Labor Act,, as with EOBR's now almost universally in use, the excuses used by trucking companies that they didn't know where drivers are when out on the road and had to force them to pay by the mile or the driver would never do his job, pay by the mile are no longer valid,and the large carriers will continue to rob truck drivers of their wages..

  2. 2. Kevin J. Reidy [ October 09, 2013 @ 04:07AM ]

    Until the drivers employed at the larger carriers finally wake up an demand hourly pay and are included under the Fair Labor Act,, as with EOBR's now almost universally in use, the excuses used by trucking companies that they didn't know where drivers are when out on the road and had to force them to pay by the mile or the driver would never do his job, pay by the mile are no longer valid,and the large carriers will continue to rob truck drivers of their wages..

  3. 3. Amish Trucker [ October 09, 2013 @ 05:26AM ]

    If drivers were paid by the hour, it would revolutionize the industry and finally put the cost of compliance on the consumer. Shipments could be quoted by the hour and would have to take into consideration loading time and local traffic conditions. The biggest issue in the industry would be keeping some drivers from milking the clock. Carriers would expect drivers to run the speed limits (and maybe then some) to increase productivity, which in turn would hurt fuel economy gains. So now we talk speed limiters so the big carriers can have that "level playing field" they dream about. Accounting for driver hours would be a nightmare, particularly for the larger carriers so don't look for their support any time soon. And if the big buys don't support it, it's not going to happen.

  4. 4. barbrrb [ October 09, 2013 @ 05:50AM ]

    Cannot believe it.... drivers are exempt from the wage &forever hour. Lawyer really took this case. Maybe we may dind a loop hole and all otr drivers will get hourly pay. I work by the hour and will never go back to working for nothing.

  5. 5. haller [ October 09, 2013 @ 06:48AM ]

    I've been charging customers by the hour for 4 years now, but I don't tell them.
    haller

  6. 6. Curt Voldheim Jr [ October 09, 2013 @ 06:58AM ]

    Baba Booey Baba Booey! Howard Sterns smeckle. Baba Booey

  7. 7. Dave [ October 09, 2013 @ 07:30AM ]

    if the suit says they failed to pay LESS than minimum wage as your story says, they have already loss, because they did pay less less than minimum wage

  8. 8. Dave [ October 09, 2013 @ 07:31AM ]

    if the suit says they failed to pay LESS than minimum wage as your story says, they have already lost, because they did pay less less than minimum wage

  9. 9. Fitz [ October 09, 2013 @ 07:42AM ]

    Easy solution, pay the drivers a straight salary, i.e. 1200.00 week as an example. This would give the same benefits as discussed. The driver then knows exactly what he is getting, easy fixed cost for the carrier. Pretty much a win win.

  10. 10. Fitz [ October 09, 2013 @ 07:47AM ]

    I have said this for years, over 10 that truck driver pay has to change. I can not believe that carriers are still paying drivers 35, 38 cents a mile the same its been for over 20 years. Unreal. Lease programs biggest scam ever. You want to know why turnover is over 90%....and where are you going to get new drivers, not with pay like this.

  11. 11. Tyler Turner [ October 09, 2013 @ 08:10AM ]

    Really...Seriously... He didn't know this going into the program? WOW....I'm always amazed and bewildered with the attitude of some people that if I can't start at the top I'll sue myself a paycheck. What's wrong with this society? Are we raising a bunch of ner-do-wells. Just saying....

  12. 12. Fitz [ October 09, 2013 @ 08:31AM ]

    no he probably didn't. Let you in on a secret, Recruiter's lie.

  13. 13. Pete Lynskey [ October 09, 2013 @ 08:36AM ]

    Are not all training programs this way .while your training is just that your paid as a student not a driver

  14. 14. Justin [ October 09, 2013 @ 08:43AM ]

    Tyler, you are misinformed. Unfortunately, that is not uncommon in the industry, which is why these companies have continued to pay drivers so little. Truck drivers are not exempt from the FLSA. They are exempt from teh overtime provisions of the FLSA. They are not exempt from minimum wage. The lawsuit at issue deals with minimum wage.

  15. 15. tonya [ October 09, 2013 @ 09:21AM ]

    The majority of the time the student is the driver. They put the student on the truck with the trainer so they can get paid for the 5500-6000 miles driven during the weeks of training.

  16. 16. harry rybacki [ October 09, 2013 @ 09:43AM ]

    he is paid 300.00 a week plus room and board,meals,his school and training. sounds like more than 300.00 a week to me. I know people that have gone through there training program . they came away with good training and enough experance to a lest get a start. not saying its the greatest but it is a start into this life style and job. don't need the gov. to tell me how or how much I should be paid. just more people expecting to much to start. any body rember what they got paid when they went into the army. I do after taxes 105.00 a mo. plus 3 hots and a cot. and a put in way more than 70 hrs. do you really think someone who doesn't know the difference between a foot feed and brake peddle should get paid the same as someone with 1 yr exp 5 yr exp . most of them won't make 6 mo. have to pay your dues first. how many of you worked and learned for meals and smokes to be able to drive a truck. I know none of you. right. I hope Roehl wins and then drops there training program and invest all the money they put into taining into exp. driver wages. that does not include anyone with less than 5 yrs exp.

  17. 17. maryann [ October 09, 2013 @ 10:15AM ]

    give somebody a brake & see what happens, people are sue happy he doesn't want a job he wants to retire off sueing somebody sorry it had to be roehl transport

  18. 18. Tim Brady [ October 09, 2013 @ 10:34AM ]

    Obviously someone forgot to tell the poor man that truckers are exempt from the 1937 Fair Labor Standards Act, so unless he's lives in the State of Washington where they have labor pay laws that protect Resident truckers if the carrier they work for has a terminal in the state he's out of luck. But maybe this will wake up those who take advantage of folks and one of the major causes of trucking high driver turnover rate.

  19. 19. Tyler Turner [ October 09, 2013 @ 11:31AM ]

    Maryann, you got it right...most people don't want to work today and why would they when they can belly up the goverment teat and get their section 8 housing allowance, food stamps,utlility subsidies,unemployment, medicial assistance, Ohh, and an Obama phone for free

  20. 20. real facts [ October 14, 2013 @ 08:08PM ]

    I just did this program its 344 bucks a week but yes its 70 hrs a week on phase 2 no hotel or food paid for but where can u solo out as a driver in any company in less time

  21. 21. Roy Pennington [ December 12, 2013 @ 02:14PM ]

    The Big Companies have been getting away with to much for to long. Welcome to the future of the industry. Expect more lawsuits to follow. They do a lot of unethical things to drivers. I went to an hourly job. I hope this guy wins his lawsuit. Bad pay is just one of the things they are guilty of.

  22. 22. Mountainman [ February 05, 2014 @ 08:06PM ]

    Listen up folks! If a driver trainee gets paid $425 per week while he is out with a trainer and works 70 hours per week for on duty time, what would his hourly wage be at a regular job? Answer: $5.00 an hour!!!!

    $5 x 40 hours = $200 regular pay
    $7.5 x 30 hours = $225 overtime pay
    $425 Total wages

    If you don't allow for the overtime as truck drivers are exempt from OT, the trucker/trainee is being paid less then minimum wage:

    $6.00 x 70 hours = $420

 

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