When employees discover their employer has exploited them thanks to loose employee classification, it makes sense that those employees might want rapid justice. However, many cases take months or even years to resolve.
FreightWaves reports how several drivers claimed entitlements to compensation benefits and sued in a class action for it.
Misclassification over a decade
Three original plaintiffs made their case of misclassification. This eventually rose to a class action consisting of nearly 700 drivers. The argument stood that the trucking company responsible had treated its drivers as independent workers. As such, there were many protections and compensation the company did not take responsibility for.
If the drivers had employee status, they would earn more wages, rest breaks, and be reimbursed for business expenses.
The case remained in court since its 2013 filing. Settlement talks began in 2019 shortly before the adoption of California’s ABC test for determining independent contractor status.
While 632 drivers took settlements earlier, 51 remained as plaintiffs. The resulting settlement amounts to nearly $5 million. It will pay out to the remaining 51 drivers while also boosting the agreed-upon settlement for the other 632 drivers.
Facing misclassification long-term
These cases need to handle federal and state laws as well as the complex relationships between corporations across the nation. Companies have incentives to maximize their profits. Many have paid their workers unfairly through employee misclassification.
While it may seem like a daunting task to take on a company and its resources, there is information and support out there for anyone facing this complex form of employee exploitation.