A class-action lawsuit claims that XPO Logistics used a deliberate scheme to misclassify their truck drivers as independent contractors, thus denying them the protections available to employees under California law.
The lawsuit was filed by attorneys Julie Gutman Dickinson and C. Joe Sayas Jr. on Monday, Feb. 26 in the Superior Court of California.
“This class action seeks to enjoin the defendants’ unlawful conduct, to obtain restitution of unpaid wages and unlawful deductions made from truck drivers’ pay, and to prosecute a private enforcement action to collect civil penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorney General Act,” the lawsuit said.
The class action claims Jacksonville, Fla.-based XPO Cartage Inc., doing business as XPO Logistics, failed to pay minimum wage, wages for missed meal periods, wages for missed rest periods, and reimbursements for business expenses. The lawsuit also cited XPO’s failure to provide accurate, itemized wage statements, waiting time penalties, unfair competition and recovery of penalties under the Private Attorney General Act as causes for the action.
Plaintiffs are seeking unpaid wages and all compensation due, as well as declaratory relief, liquidated damages and permanent injunctions preventing XPO from continuing their current business practices.
The topic of working conditions for port truck drivers has been in the news since USA Today published an investigative report that looked at unfair labor practices in the Port of Los Angeles.
According to the lawsuit, there are several reasons XPO truck drivers are misclassified as independent contractors.
“The days and hours worked by drivers are controlled by the XPO defendants,” the lawsuit said. “To obtain work each day, drivers are required to check in with the XPO defendants’ dispatchers at the start of the drivers’ work shift, at which time the driver is provided an initial load assignment. Throughout the course of the workday, the driver must continually contact the XPO defendants to receive further instructions on further assignments and is expected to continue working until all cargo loads have been pulled and may be reprimanded and/or denied further assignments if he or she stops working early.”
The lawsuit also alleges that XPO uses tablet computers issued to drivers to monitor in real time the location, movement and status of drivers pulling loads for the company.
Angel Omar Alvarez, Alberto Rivera, and Fernando Ramirez are named as plaintiffs in the case. Dickinson said there are more than 160 plaintiffs in the class action. However, she expects more to be added.
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