If you work in the trucking trade, you’ve probably heard of Swift Transportation. It’s one of the largest trucking companies in the industry! This company has agreed to pay about 100 million dollars to both former and current truck drivers. Due to a class action suit filed in the US District Court for the District of Arizona. In short, drivers were being misrepresented and lacked compensation for full-time employment with Swift Transportation.
The drivers of Swift Industries, or Swift for short, filed the suit back in 2009. The truckers argue that they were misrepresented as “independent contractors” instead of employees of the company. Therefore, they were kept from certain benefits of federal labor laws. One of these laws required companies to give drivers minimum wage for every hour worked. Companies normally pay independent owner-operators for every mile they drive. Thus, classifying the drivers as independent owner-operators and not full-time employees meant the company could pay them less money for more work.
Dan Getman, the attorney for those against Swift, represented 19,000 former or current truck drivers. Sadly, Swift’s owner-operator system led the way for other trucking companies to take advantage of full-time employees as independent owner-operators as well.
Swift lost the case. Meanwhile, truckers received about $100 million dollars in compensation. The fund for the class of almost 20,000 drivers may result in changes for the trucking industry. This could benefit all misclassified and misrepresented drivers. Only time will tell what the industry’s new laws and regulations will be.
So, how do you feel about new laws and regulations for the trucking industry? Do you think that there are any changes that need to be addressed immediately?