In the wake of AB 5, port and rail drivers for global logistics company hauling for Toyota & BMW win $800,000 court decision for misclassification as “independent contractors,” file 41 new claims demanding employee rights
COMMERCE & SAN DIEGO, CA – On Friday, Nov. 8, XPO Logistics drivers in Commerce and San Diego, CA, who haul cargo for Toyota, BMW, Sony, and others, announced that they have filed an additional 41 claims for misclassification and wage theft, following a recent CA Superior Court decision finding that four XPO drivers were owed over $800,000. As part of their wage claim process, the drivers delegated management to demand copies of their payroll records, which by law XPO is mandated to keep and provide them with. The drivers were accompanied by members of the Our People Our Port Coalition, including Father Richard Estrada and Pastor Carlos Rincón of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), and Zenaida Perez Fuentes of Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health (SoCal COSH).
“In September a Judge ruled that we are misclassified and awarded me and three other drivers more than $800,000 in stolen wages but we are still fighting to become company drivers because XPO refuses to recognize that we are their employees. We are hoping that with AB 5 going into effect next year, XPO will comply with the law, reclassify us as company drivers, and provide the wages and benefits we are supposed to have,” said Jose Herrera, a misclassified driver with XPO Logistics since 2010.
“XPO drivers have proven time and again at the courts and government agencies that they are employees, yet XPO continues to misclassify them as independent contractors, so the drivers continue to organize and file claims to get XPO to follow the law, including the newly passed AB 5,” said Eric Tate, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 848.
Misclassification of workers as “independent contractors” is a hot topic with the passage of California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) and the subsequent push by U.S. corporations like Uber, DoorDash, and XPO Logistics to undermine the law so they can continue to dodge payroll taxes and increase profitability by exploiting their workforce. There are a lot of questions about AB 5, but one thing is crystal clear: Long before AB 5 was introduced in the California Legislature, port and rail drivers have consistently been proven to be employees under the current laws, yet deep-pocketed companies like XPO Logistics have continued to flagrantly break employment, labor, and tax laws by persistently misclassifying their port and rail drivers.
XPO Logistics, Inc., is one of the 10 largest providers of transportation and logistics services in the world, operating in 30 counties with more than $17 billion in revenue in 2018. XPO’s Cartage and Port Services divisions are together among the top trucking companies servicing the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and there are approximately 280 misclassified drivers working for both companies in their LA-area locations and about 240 additional drivers in XPO Cartage’s San Diego facility. XPO has faced repeated legal and enforcement agency actions for wage theft due to misclassification of their drivers as independent contractors, the most recent of which was a ruling in CA Superior Court whereby four XPO drivers were found to be employees, upholding a 2017 Labor Commissioner decision and awarding the drivers over $800,000 in damages. In another recent series of cases, 12 other XPO drivers were awarded more than $3 million in wages and penalties after XPO exhausted the appeals process. Click here for a copy of past and current claims by port and rail drivers at XPO Logistics.