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California Port Truckers Settle Wage Suit

The plaintiffs in a class action wage suit against Shippers Transport Express Inc. have settled their wage claims against their employer for approximately $11 million. The class was composed of drivers who alleged that the company denied them minimum wage and overtime pay in violation of the California Labor Code by misclassifying them as independent contractors instead of employees. The case is one of nearly dozens of cases that allege misclassification and wage theft prevalent in California’s trucking industry.

According to the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, nearly two-thirds of the 75,000 port truckers across the country are misclassified as independent contractors. 17,000 of those truckers work in Southern California, transporting containers from the busy Los Angeles and Long Beach ports to inland warehouses and rail yards.   

The California Labor Code presumes that a worker is an employee unless an employer is able to provide evidence that the worker should be considered an independent contractor. In making this determination, several factors must be analyzed. The most important of these factors is to consider whether the person to whom the worker is providing service has control or the right to control the worker. If the person or entity can control the manner and means that the worker performs the job, then the worker is likely an employee. Other factors may include whether the work performed is a part of the regular business of the alleged employer, who supplies the tools and the place for the worker, and whether the work requires a specialized skill.

Misclassification is a serious issue that can result in lost wages and benefits. Dejban Law can provide you with skilled representation if you believe you have been deprived of your wage rights due to misclassification. Contact us now by email at info@dejbanlaw.com or by phone us at (818) 325-3820 for a free and confidential initial consultation.