Court rejects Jevic truckers' $12.4 million wage claim appeal

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 5/22/2015

Approximately 1,200 truckers and employees who worked for Jevic Transportation of Delanco, N.J., have been fighting in federal court for seven years to be paid what they claim they are owed after Jevic abruptly ceased operations in May 2008.

On May 21, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the drivers’ $12.4 million wage claim, while approving “a priority-toppling settlement that favored banks and private equity firms,” according to Employment Law 360.

In January, attorneys for former Jevic employees filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, urging the Third Circuit to “strike an ‘earmarked’ settlement that allegedly favored its private equity owners and excluded them from any distributions that might stem from class action claims,” the news outlet reported.

After the trucking company’s shutdown, which left drivers stranded and unpaid, two former Jevic employees quickly filed a class action complaint claiming the company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act.

According to court documents filed in May 2008, “defendants were required by the WARN Act to give the plaintiffs and the other similarly situated former employees at least 60 days advance written notice of their respective terminations.”

Jevic cited high fuel costs, insurance prices, and the economic downturn as the main reasons for its abrupt closure. The company filed its voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in federal court in Delaware, estimating its assets as $50 million to $100 million and its liabilities as the same.

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