Wage, rest break lawsuit against Graebel seeks class action status

By Land Line staff | Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A California trucker’s lawsuit against Graebel Van Lines seeks class action status for wage and labor violations alleging driver misclassification, according to court records.

The lawsuit, which was filed Feb. 27 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks back pay and overtime wages for class members who were allegedly misclassified as independent contractors, and subsequently denied compensation for meal and rest breaks under California state law.

The lawsuit was filed by Los Angeles-based Haffner Law, on behalf of truck driver Fidel Coronel and other similarly-situated truckers who were employed by Graebel during the last four years. Last fall, the law firm filed similar lawsuits seeking class action status against Atlas Van Lines and Stevens Transport.

According to court documents, Coronel worked as a driver for Graebel, where the lawsuit claims he and other members of the proposed class were incorrectly classified as independent contractors.

Graebel is accused of failing to pay drivers all wages, failure to reimburse business expenses, and failure to provide meal and rest breaks under California law. The class includes drivers who worked or lived in California and were employed by the company within the last four years.

The class action complaint alleges the company violated California labor codes by requiring drivers to work shifts lasting more than four hours without receiving a 10-minute rest break; requiring drivers to work shifts longer than five or 10 hours and not providing or allowing required 30-minute meal breaks; and failing to pay class members for all hours worked. The suit also alleges that class members suffered loss of wages and compensation by failing to be paid for all hours worked, and failing to be paid minimum and overtime wages.

“Defendants (Graebel Van Lines) have engaged in a pattern and practice of misclassifying their employees as independent contractors to avoid the taxes, insurance and other costs that accompany employees,” the complaint states.

Related story:
Trucker sues Atlas Van Lines and Stevens Transport; seeks class actions

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