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Lawsuit challenges independent contractor status in California

| Mar 2, 2018 | Employment Law, Firm News |

Employment is a privilege, and employees of all kinds are granted specific rights under United States and California law. These laws guarantee paid wages, safe worksites and other basic requirements of security and confidence of workers, managers and customers.

One of the most meaningful issues in employment law in the last decades has been the status of employees contrasted with independent contractors. The rise of the gig economy has brought thousands of workers into contractor positions in production, services, agriculture and other sectors of the Golden State’s economy.

Truck drivers at the nation’s largest port complex are suing one of its logistics providers to reclassify contractors as employees. The truckers’ representatives state that independent classification has cost them jobs, time and money. The suit is seeking more than $1 million for the unpaid wages and illegal deductions from the pay of more than 160 contractors.

The classification matters because time spent waiting for shipments is unpaid, and companies often use a contractor-heavy business model to save money during periods with a lot of “dead time.” Drivers allege that the logistics provider did not provide itemized wage statements, as well as failing to meet minimum wage requirements and not paying for meal and rest breaks guaranteed by California statutes.

Violations of employment law must be challenged, and victims of these issues have the right to seek financial restitution through civil law in California. An attorney can help a single employee or a group, even one seeking class-action status for their suit, to push a case to settlement, verdict in civil court or other acceptable outcome.

Source: Trucks.com, “Southern California Port Truckers File Lawsuit Against XPO Logistics,” Clarissa Hawes, Feb. 27, 2018