Former trainees allege Roehl Transport failed to pay minimum wage

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, January 16, 2014

Some former trainees for Roehl Transport Inc. have filed a class action and collective action lawsuit against the Wisconsin-based carrier, claiming they logged as many as 70 hours of “on duty” time per week, but were not paid at least minimum wage.

Instead, trainees allege in the complaint they were paid a flat rate, which amounted to $300 per week, some receiving less than $500 per week, while trainers were paid on a per-mile basis.

The complaint, which alleges Roehl violated the Wisconsin Minimum Wage Law, as well as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, is brought on behalf of all trainees who participated in Roehl’s over-the-road student training program for the past three years.

Also alleged in the complaint is that drivers were not paid for more than eight hours of work performed per day and that Roehl did not pay minimum wage for rest breaks and for time when trainees were in the sleeper berth.

In Roehl’s answers filed in response to the complaint, the company denies that any unlawful actions occurred or that it paid drivers a base weekly salary, instead of for the total number of hours the trainees worked.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Motions by both sides are due March 31 over the issue of “how to characterize sleeper berth time.” A jury trial date has been set for July 20, 2015.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website, Roehl Transport has 2,064 power units and 2,160 drivers.

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