Ceva Logistics agreed to a $1.75 million settlement in a class action lawsuit that alleged the company violated the California Labor Code.
The plaintiffs claimed that Ceva:
- improperly categorized class members as independent contractors,
- failed to make meal and rest periods available,
- did not provide accurate, itemized wage statements, and
- failed to reimburse them for reasonable business expenses.
In addition, the class members said Jacksonville, Fla.-based Ceva failed to compensate them for all hours worked, overtime hours, and full wages upon departure from the company as required by California Labor Code.
Marilyn L. Huff, judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, gave final approval to the settlement on Oct. 23.
The class consisted of 65 truck drivers, including plaintiff William Cifuentes.
According to the original complaint filed in August, the plaintiffs accused Ceva of maintaining “policies and procedures, which created a working environment where drivers are routinely compensated at a rate that is less than the statutory minimum wage.”
The complaint alleged that Ceva paid drivers a fixed rate for each customer delivery and that drivers typically work 12-14 hours per day.
“After completing their assigned routes, Ceva requires their drivers to return to the warehouse to submit their delivery logs and drop off the customer’s old products,” the complaint stated. “This is true, even if the driver is not scheduled the following day. Consequently, the time that drivers are required to work off the clock is dramatically increased.
“In addition to the long hours, there is a considerable amount of deductions made by Ceva to the drivers’ paychecks. Deductions include items, such as uniforms, rental trucks, insurance, damaged merchandise, incomplete routes, in-home damage to customer property, rental truck tires, and merchandise claims, among other items.”
Classified as independent contractors, the drivers also paid for such costs as diesel, maintenance, licensing, permits, and tolls.
“Between the lengthy routes and work days, substantial deductions, and the need to pay for other necessary costs out of their own pockets, drivers often work for wages that fall below the minimum wage,” the complaint said.
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