Austin v. National Trucking Company

Class Action Meal and Rest Breaks Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) Wage and Hour Law

In this case, plaintiffs RONDA AUSTIN, CHRISTOPHER CORDUCK, ERNEST DIAL, BILLY WAYNE GIBSON, and BOBBY G. SMITH (“Plaintiffs”) are or were employed as truck drivers in California by Defendant FOODLINER, INC. (“Defendant” or “FOODLINER”). Plaintiffs seek to represent a class comprised of all current and former truck drivers employed by Defendant in the State of California at any time within the four years preceding the filing of this complaint (“Class Members”).

Plaintiffs allege that FOODLINER is in the business of transporting various liquid and dry cargo from one location to another. FOODLINER has employed Plaintiffs and Class Members as truck drivers and paid Plaintiffs and Class Members on a per load basis.  However, Plaintiffs claim that FOODLINER has failed to pay Plaintiffs and Class Members for all hours worked, in particular, for their rest periods; for non-productive time, including but not limited to, for dead mileage, dead running or dead-heading (“dead-heading”) (when the truck driver operates without carrying any cargo or load); for work performed pre- and post-trip; for the time spent fueling their vehicles; for the time spent completing necessary paperwork; for standby time; and for time spent attending required safety meetings and trainings. Furthermore, Plaintiffs allege that the wages that FOODLINER has paid Plaintiffs and Class Members have regularly failed to meet the requirements of applicable minimum wage laws.

Plaintiffs also allege that FOODLINER has failed to provide Plaintiffs and Class Members with proper meal and rest periods, and failed to pay one additional hour of pay at Plaintiffs and Class Members’ respective regular rates of compensation for each workday that they were not provided an adequate off-duty meal or rest period.

With respect to business expenses, Plaintiffs allege that FOODLINER has failed to reimburse Plaintiffs and Class Members for the cost of their meals while staying overnight in a motel for work-related purposes. Plaintiffs also claim that FOODLINER has required Plaintiffs and Class Members to use their cell phones for work-related purposes, but has failed to fully reimburse Plaintiffs and Class Members for the costs of those phones.

Plaintiffs further allege that FOODLINER has failed to timely pay all wages due to Plaintiffs and Class Members at the time of their termination.

Finally, Plaintiffs allege that FOODLINER has failed to provide the following information on Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ wage statements: (1) the actual number of hours worked; (2) the applicable piece-rate information and number of piece-rates earned; (3) the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer; (4) the inclusive dates of the pay period; or (5) all applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate.

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