L.A. City Attorney Files Lawsuits Against Three Port Truck Companies
Port Trucking Industry Pressured to Stop Breaking Labor Laws
The city of Los Angeles has filed lawsuits against three trucking companies operating out of Southern California ports, for allegedly denying wages and benefits to drivers illegally classified as independent contractors rather than employees.
The three companies named in the lawsuits are CMI Transportation LLC, K&R Transportation California LLC and Cal Cartage Transportation Express LLC.
The lawsuits ask that companies compensate drivers for back pay and pay civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer alleges that the companies intentionally misclassified hundreds of truckers as independent contractors, to avoid providing benefits and paying applicable taxes.
Feuer said the practice is common. Contractors aren’t eligible for benefits owed to employee drivers, including unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and overtime pay.
We hope this will send a strong message that not only these companies, but the entire port trucking industry must stop breaking labor laws.
In a statement Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he supported the city attorney’s actions, “The Port of Los Angeles is one of America’s most powerful economic engines, and the workers who keep it running every day deserve better than to be deprived of basic employment protections.”
Independent drivers for many of Southern California’s port-trucking companies have been making similar allegations for years, filing hundreds of wage-and-hour complaints with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, and winning tens of millions in back pay. Drivers and the Teamsters have gone on strike 15 times to demand change.
Every government agency that has investigated and determined that port trucking companies are violating the law. Yet, despite the legal evidence, LA Port officials allowed them to continue to conduct business on public property.
Driver organizers say that trucking companies push their costs, such as fuel, insurance, maintenance and lease payments, onto the drivers. And they say they’re not compensated for many of the hours they work, such as the time spent waiting in line to pick up goods.
Wage and Hour Attorneys Protect Employees Against Unfair Business Practices
Everyone deserves to be paid the correct amount of wages for the hours they’ve worked. California wage and hour attorneys help clients get compensation for: unpaid overtime, unpaid wages, improper meal and rest periods/breaks, improper deductions, employee misclassification (exempt or non-exempt).
Unfortunately, there are countless examples of both large and small employers not paying their staff the money and benefits they’ve earned.
Retrieved January 10, 2018.