LA City Attorney: Truck drivers are employees, not contractors
In the suits, City Attorney Feuer alleges that the companies intentionally misclassified hundreds of truckers as independent contractors, rather than employees, to avoid providing benefits and paying applicable taxes.
"The Teamsters applaud Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer for taking aggressive action against these market leading companies – K&R Transportation, CMI, and California Cartage Express – which continue to violate the law even after determinations by the California Labor Commissioner that they are openly violating the law.
"We hope this will send a strong message that not only these companies, but the entire port trucking industry must stop breaking labor laws. Thousands of drivers at many of LA’s port trucking companies have filed private lawsuits and wage and hour claims alleging illegal misclassification; and drivers have gone on strike 15 times to demand change.
"And every government agency that has conducted an investigation has determined that port trucking companies are violating the law. Yet, despite the legal evidence, LA Port officials have effectively sanctioned their behavior by allowing them to continue to conduct business on public property.
"This must end," said Fred Potter, Vice President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Director of the Teamsters’ Port Division.
"With these lawsuits, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has made it clear that if you break the law by misclassifying drivers as 'independent contractors' at LA’s port then there will be consequences.
"Unfettered lawbreaking unfairly undercuts the companies that are following the law,” said Eric Tate, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters local 848, which represents more than 500 port truck drivers at America’s largest port complex.
"After years of telling the leaders of Los Angeles’ Port that these companies are blatantly breaking the law on public property – with no action – we are pleased to see LA’s City Attorney file lawsuits against these companies to demand an end to misclassification and wage theft that hurts our families,” Gustavo Villa, misclassified driver, California Cartage Express. ■