A trucking company, which is being sued for failing to provide meal and rest breaks as required under California law, is working to provide the plaintiffs with a list of potential class members.
According to a joint stipulation approved in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Knight Transportation is mailing out notices to the company’s current and former truck drivers who were paid on a piece-rate basis and who drove one or more routes of at least five hours entirely within the state of California between Sept. 30, 2012, and Nov. 30, 2018. Both parties are asked to update the court on the status of the class list in a status conference report on Jan. 31.
Truckers who receive the notice will have up until 45 days after the date of the postmark to exclude themselves from the class should they choose to opt out.
U.S. District Court Judge Dale A. Drozd certified the class on Nov. 30. The lawsuit claims that Phoenix-based Knight Transportation paid class members under a piece-rate system and did not pay them a separate hourly wage to compensate them for rest breaks and for performing nondriving tasks. Previous court documents said the class consisted of more than 4,100 members and continued to grow.
The class includes all current and former truck drivers for Knight Transportation who resided in Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Utah or Colorado and drove routes of at least five hours in California.
Knight Transportation’s attorneys contend that Martinez isn’t a California resident, that none of the putative class members are California residents, and that the class members drive most of their routes outside of California. Knight Transportation also said that it is not based in California and that the class members are not employed full-time in California. Instead, the class members only “temporarily” drive through California while performing deliveries, the defendants said.
According to the notice to potential class members, if they ask to be excluded they will not share in any of the possible benefits from a trial or settlement but they would maintain their rights to sue Knight Transportation separately about the same legal claims in the class action lawsuit. If they remain in the class, they will be eligible for possible benefits from a trial or settlement but give up their rights to sue Knight Transportation separately.