California judge certifies class in case against Schneider National

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | Friday, October 05, 2012

Truck drivers’ allegations that Schneider National Carriers Inc. short-changed them on meal and rest breaks, actual miles driven and detention pay will be decided as a class in California, following a recent ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White.

Christina A. Humphrey, of the law firm Marlin and Saltzman, LLP, in Los Angeles, is the lead attorney in the class action lawsuit against Schneider National in California.

“This is a huge victory on behalf of the plaintiffs because now they can collectively make these assertions and all of it can be decided in one swoop by the judge,” Humphrey told Land Line on Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Plaintiffs in the case allege that Schneider is instituting improper pay practices and fails to pay drivers for every hour they work, instead paying them only “when the wheels are turning,” according to Humphrey.

“We are claiming that the drivers are not paid for items such as inspections of the truck, wait time they may be incurring at the railway if they are an intermodal driver, or wait times at customer sites,” Humphrey said. “Basically, there is a lot of time during the day for which they don’t receive any compensation, which we are claiming is illegal under California law.”

In the lawsuit Bickley v. Schneider National Carriers, Inc., drivers also allege they are not being compensated for all of the miles they drive. The company’s pay system is based on the Household Movers Guide software system, which pays drivers ZIP code to ZIP code.

“For example, they may only be compensated for 500 miles when in actuality they drove 700 miles,” Humphrey said. “The drivers are not being accurately compensated for those additional 200 miles they drove. The DOT logs that the drivers have to fill out require that they record their actual miles driven, regardless of what the HHMG says they should be paid for.”

Drivers in the case also allege that the company failed to provide them with timely and accurate itemized wage statements and that they weren’t paid for accrued vacation wages.

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