Some of the most egregious examples of wage theft occur when employers misclassify their workers. By calling workers contractors instead of employees, business owners in Tennessee and elsewhere profit in various ways, such as avoiding having to provide benefits for the workers. However, one group of cartage drivers in another state has gathered to file a class action lawsuit against their employer for misclassification that resulted in a violation of their rights.
XPO Logistics is one of the largest logistics companies in the world. However, about 160 employees of the massive corporation have filed a lawsuit alleging that the company classified them as independent contractors, denying them important benefits. Additionally, XPO apparently failed to pay the drivers for meal breaks and rest periods during which they were made to work. A spokesperson for XPO denies the company has done anything wrong and contends that the employees must prefer their status as contractors or they would seek work elsewhere.
However, the drivers say the contract they sign does not take into account the control the company has over them. Unlike employees of XPO, independent contractors should not be required to perform daily inspections on their trucks or submit to obligatory tests for drugs and alcohol. Nevertheless, XPO requires these things of its cartage drivers under threat of termination. XPO also vets its drivers with criminal background checks, credit checks and employment histories. These elements of control may indicate the company treats cartage drivers as employees but classifies them as contractors.
If the cartage workers are successful in their class action lawsuit, they stand to win millions of dollars. Tennessee workers who feel they are missing out on benefits they deserve because of misclassification have the same right to seek redress as these workers. Obtaining the advice and guidance of an attorney can be the first step in righting this wrong.
Source: dcvelocity.com, "California cartage drivers sue XPO, charging employee misclassification", Feb. 26, 2018