Port Truckers in Southern California Cast Allegations of Misclassification at XPO

by Norman B. Blumenthal on April 2, 2018

blumenthal nordrehaug & bhowmik, california employment law, california employment law attorney, misclassification suit, misclassification lawsuit, California misclassification lawsuitSouthern California drivers at the nation’s largest port complex recently filed a misclassification lawsuit (Alvarez vs. XPO Logistics Cartage) against XPO Logistics Cartage. The suit was filed in February 2018 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The drivers were seeking to have port and rail truckers reclassified as employees.

Port Angeles and Long Beach truckers allege that XPO withheld jobs or triggered calculated dispatch delays that left truckers for hours waiting for work on loading docks. The lawsuit currently seeks class action status.

Drivers filing against XPO claim that the routing of loads to other drivers denied truckers the chance to earn a living and pay expenses they owed on the trucks they leased through the company (XPO). Allegedly, drivers were not provided with accurate, itemized wage statements, minimum wage, or meal and rest breaks.

When asked about the filing, the company stated that most of their port drivers wish to maintain their independence, which they have as independent contractors. The company will defend their business model.

Plaintiffs seek over $1 million for over 160 port and rail drivers who have worked for XPO since spring of 2016. They seek restitution of unpaid earned wages and deductions that were made from XPO driver pay.

The named plaintiff on the case, Angel Omar, claims that misclassification affects him and his entire family negatively because they don’t have plaintiffs and they see a substantial amount of money coming out of their paycheck from XPO that is used to cover company expenses. Alvarez claims that as an independent contractor, he is responsible for covering the costs of fuel, any repairs on his truck, and additional expenses that he would not be held responsible for if XPO classified him as an employee driver.

Legal counsel for the plaintiffs describe the company as a repeat law breaker that has been operating with impunity. They fear that without an injunction, XPO will simply continue to misclassify and flaunt California labor law allowing them to unjustly steal wages from low-wage workers. Plaintiffs’ counsel described the impossible situation as indentured servitude.

If you fear you are being misclassified on the job, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.

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