Truck drivers for the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports are receiving a multi-million settlement for alleged wage theft.
“One of the world’s largest trucking companies, XPO Logistics, agreed Tuesday to pay $30 million to settle class-action lawsuits filed by hundreds of drivers who said they earned less than minimum wage delivering goods for major retailers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The combined settlements, approved by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, addressed allegations that two XPO subsidiaries, XPO Logistics Cartage in Commerce and San Diego and XPO Port Service in Rancho Dominguez, paid drivers less-than-legal wages, failed to pay them for missed meal and rest periods, and failed to reimburse them for business expenses or for waiting-time penalties.
The settlements amounted to a major victory for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which applauded the lawsuits as part of a decades-long effort to organize the twin ports’ more than 13,000 drivers.
Trucking companies classify many of their drivers as independent contractors, thus making them ineligible for a host of labor protections, including the ability to collectively bargain for wages.
In recent years, California’s labor commissioner’s office has awarded more than $50 million to some 500 truckers who claimed they were deprived of wages through misclassification as contractors rather than employees. At the same time, many truckers have shied away from working as employees, preferring to own and operate their own vehicles.
But as the pandemic has driven supply chain snarls, port drivers have voiced growing frustration at a loss of income as they wait in hours-long lines at the ports — time for which they would be compensated if they were employees.”
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