Pacific 9 Transportation Ordered To Pay $7 Million To Port Drivers
Anyone that follows trucking news or Truckers Logic has likely heard about the L.A. Port drivers at one time or another. We’ve been following the port drivers for some time now. For years, L.A. port drivers have been complaining about making contractor wages. Several investigations have been launched during that span to get answers. It has been a December to remember as a wide range of events have unfolded.
California’s Labor Commissioner’s Office ruled last month that the drivers at Pacific 9 Transportation were improperly treated as independent contractors rather than as employees. It ordered the company to compensate drivers for illegal paycheck deductions, back wages and legal costs, payouts that amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for some drivers.
After years of being treated unfairly, the court laid the hammer down as Pacific 9 owes them 7 million dollars in back pay. Pacific 9 also must pay workers comp, payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, and unemployment insurance for them – all costs it had avoided previously.
As employees, the L.A. port drivers have the right to unionize, drivers have been trying to do so for years. However, port trucking companies did not allow them to form a union.
Labor Commissioner Julie Su said 720 truck drivers have filed complaints with her office since 2012. The office has ruled in three cases affecting more than 100 drivers since July.
“There are hundreds of trucking companies at the ports and the vast majority are misclassifying drivers,” said Julie Gutmann Dickinson, a pro-worker attorney who represents many of the port truckers. Su called driver misclassification routine in the port trucking industry. Her agency is still mulling over cases involving other trucking companies.
Don’t be surprised if this don’t start a chain event of claims and hearings. Due to the compensation totals in such a case, we expect more truck drivers to step forward now that they know they’ve been right all alone.
Most of the payouts ordered by the commission directly belong to Pacific 9’s deductions from drivers’ paychecks to cover truck lease payments, insurance, maintenance and a wide variety of different costs. This should make all L.A. port drivers more comfortable to speak out. Good for them, good for them indeed.
L.A. Port Drivers Strikes And News Over The Years
Image Source: Concord Monitor