As Tennessee readers know, employees are legally entitled to fair wages for the work they do. Unfortunately, employers often look for ways to avoid paying by doing things such as misclassifying workers. These actions can lead to wage and hour disputes as employees often have to resort to legal action in order to secure what they are owed.
The importance of properly classifying employees recently came to light in a major legal victory employees won against a major transportation company, Knight-Swift Transportation. Thousands of drivers who worked for this company claimed they were misclassified, allowing the company to pay them less. The company offered the plaintiffs $100 million to settle the legal dispute.
The lawsuit stems from the fact that the company classified their drivers as independent contractors while still exerting a significant amount of control over them. Essentially, the company allegedly treated these drivers like employees under its full control while only paying them as independent contractors. As a result, these drivers missed a certain number of benefits enjoyed by full-time employees, such as the guarantee they will make minimum wage.
Tennessee readers may know there is currently a lot of discussion regarding the classification of contractors and truck owner-operators in the transportation industry. Because of the complexity of the issue, employers have the responsibility of ensuring they properly classify all employees and provide them with fair pay and appropriate benefits. Failure to do these things can result in wage and hour disputes as employees have the right to pursue what they are rightfully owed.