Wage and Hour Law
Defendant is a transportation/trucking company involved in the transportation of automobiles by the use of “car hauler” trailers. Defendant maintained at least four locations in the State of California in Benicia, Richmond, Oxnard and Fontana. During the period of May 13, 2012 through the present, Defendant employed hundreds of individuals as drivers based in the State of California. On any given day, Defendant has as many as 250 trucks on the road.
Plaintiffs were each employed by Defendant during the class period as drivers. They regularly operated car haulers, transporting 7-9 vehicles at a time, making deliveries throughout California and nearby states. Plaintiffs were subject to the same trip pay policies and procedures as other drivers in the proposed class.
During the relevant period, Defendant paid its drivers pursuant to two different payment methods: percentage of the load and mileage. Each of these payment methods is shown in Defendant’s wage records and the employees’ pay statements. In addition to driving loads, Defendant requires Plaintiffs and class members to perform non-driving tasks.
Plaintiffs and class members were not separately and directly compensated for the time spent performing these additional tasks, and other tasks which are not listed. Rather, Defendant unlawfully includes the purported payment of such tasks in the piece-rate. However, the piece-rate only takes into account mileage driven or a “commission” percentage of the amount charged the customer by Defendant. Performing non-driving activities typically takes drivers takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes per trip.
Additionally, drivers were not paid for deadheading, i.e. time spent driving back from a delivery with an empty trailer. Arguably, the drivers are entitled to at least minimum wage for their drive time towing an empty trailer. Further, a driver’s 10-minute rest period was not separately compensated as required by law.
This case settled at mediation for approximately $3 million. Preliminary approval is pending.