Three trucking companies have agreed to pay a minimum of $9.25 million to settle a class action lawsuit which claimed hundreds of California truck drivers had been mis-classified as independent contractors.
According to court records, at least 5.85 million goes to engaging members. A class of 796 truck drivers would receive an average of around $7,355. The 18 named plaintiffs will receive a $7,500 augmentation payment for a total of 135,000. The other $3.26 million would go to lawyer fees, administrative costs, and penalties.
A hearing for preliminary approval of the settlement would be May 1 in U.S. District Court.
The lawsuit alleged that the drivers had been misclassified as independent contractors. According to the lawsuit, the defendants failed to offer meal and rest breaks. They also alleged that the defendants didn’t pay minimum wages overtime, and all wages .
“After hard fought lawsuit, we’re happy to have reached a settlement that enables drivers to regain the financial losses they have suffered out of years of lost salary,” Brian S. Kabateck, the plaintiffs’ lawyer with the law firm Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP, said.
Plaintiffs’ allegations include that defendants provided drivers though a lease agreement with preferred third-party leasing firms they “directed and controlled the way drivers performed their work.”