Selland Auto Transport’s website says “On Time and Damage Free Vehicle Transport.” According to the California class action lawsuit filed against Selland Auto Transport their website should say, “Wage Theft and Taking Advantage of California Drivers.”
The website goes on to say, “Selland Auto Transport is committed to provide our customers with an on-time and damage-free vehicle transportation process, in a safe and professional manner.” Notice that the website doesn’t say that the company is committed to paying their drivers based upon California law. I missed that part. Notice that it doesn’t say that they are committed to not steal wages from their hard working drivers. Apparently, I missed that part also.
Many of you know that I represent more drivers and Teamsters than any lawyer in California. We have filed a Selland Auto Transport California Class Action lawsuit. The Selland Auto Transport Class Action Lawsuit is all about wage theft. This article is about the allegations in the lawsuit that we filed and the law in California.
Believe it or not I am a lawyer that is known for being brutally honest. I call it the way I see it. If you want smoke blown up your skirt, then I am not your man. If you want straight-forward unsweetened truth - they you might want to pull up a chair.
Aren’t you concerned that you are going to offend someone by calling it “wage theft?”
I am sure some folks are offended by the term “wage theft.” Of course, those people probably aren’t having their wages stolen. They may just be the people that are stealing your wages. So, no, I am not afraid to tee off the people that are getting rich off you and your family.
But Selland is only doing the same things that the other auto transport companies do
Based upon what I see, most all trucking companies steal wages from their drivers. Just because everybody does it - doesn’t make it legal. Try arguing that everybody does it the next time you get pulled over for running a red light. Good luck with that one. It is the same with California’s wage and hour laws.
What is Wage Theft?
Wage theft is the illegal practice of the company not paying you for all the wages and money you earn including: forcing you to work off the clock, not paying you for all time worked, time-shaving, not providing you meal periods, not providing you rest periods, pay stub violations, not paying you wages in a timely manner and much more.
Based upon the allegations in the complaint and our investigation, Selland Auto Transport does most - if not all - of these illegal things. So, that is why the complaint in this case alleges that the company is engaged in wage theft.
Some of you might want a tad more detail. Here are a couple of the issues.
Selland Auto Transport’s Illegal Piece Rate Pay Structure
The company pays by the mile and by the unit. Under California law it is illegal for companies to not pay for all time you work. Meaning, they have to pay you for pre-trips, post-trips, inspecting the vehicles, fuel time, waiting time, etc.
Not Providing Paid Rest Periods
Under California law the company has to provide you with paid rest periods. When the company only pays drivers by piece rate (miles and unit); then the company is not providing paid rest periods.
Hold on a second - just why should I listen to you?
Good question. Everyone should ask this question of a professional they are considering working with. My name is Bill Turley. I am a class action lawyer that specializes in driver class actions.
Many folks say that the biggest California Supreme Court decision involving wage and hour cases is the landmark case Brinker vs. Superior Court. I use the Brinker case all the time to win these cases. I know the Brinker case very well. My firm represented the workers in the Brinker California Supreme Court case.
It is my understanding my law firm has more driver class actions then any law firm in California. This is why I recently testified before the California State Senate regarding Labor Code Section 226.2. This is the new labor code section that concerns piece rate pay. I plan on using Labor Code 226.2 to help win this case. I was the only class action lawyer asked to testify before the California Senate on Labor Code 226.2.
I recently worked with the United States Senate Commerce Committee on opposing a driver piece rate bill that was supported by the American Trucking Association. This was called the Denham Amendment. In essence the Denham Amendment would have ended many driver wage and hour cases.
The Senate Commerce Committee had my law firm draft alternate legislation if we had to compromise on these issues. I am glad to report that we were able to shut the Denham Amendment down in its entirety.
I am on the Board of Governors of the Consumer Attorneys of California and I was the President of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. I am on the Consumer Attorneys of California Amicus Curie Committee. I am list as amicus counsel on over 20 California Supreme Court decisions. In the past year my law firm has filed two amicus briefs with the California Supreme Court on important wage and hour class action cases.
I have offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Bakersfield. Soon we intend to open a new office in the Inland Empire.
I represent more Teamsters than any lawyer in California. I have been working with the Teamsters for years. I can tell you this. If drivers knew how hard the Teamsters worked to protect their rights they would be extremely proud. I saw first hand how hard the Teamsters worked to protect your rights. I am proud to work with the Teamsters on issues that affect drivers.
I am regularly asked to be on panels that teach wage and hour law to other lawyers.
Based on what I see - no lawyer in California understands driver class actions better than I do. This is why so many drivers are referred to our office. This is why my law firm has filed the Selland Auto Transport California Class Action lawsuit.
What is the status of this Class Action lawsuit?
The case is at the pre-certification stage. We filed the case in Alameda County Superior Court and the company has removed the case to the Federal Court - Northern District of California. The court has not ruled on the merits of the case.
There are no guarantees in life or law. I can’t guarantee any particular result in this case or any other case. There are any number of ways that any class action, including this case, may not be certified.
But what I can tell you is that I really like this case.
Based upon documents that Selland Auto Transport has filed with the court it is safe to say that the company's hired lawyers deny just about all the allegations in this case. No surprise there.
But what I can tell you is that I really like this case. Most piece rate cases where the company doesn't pay drivers for all time worked are particularly suitable for class certification. Similarly cases where the company doesn't provide drivers paid rest breaks are also very suitable for class certification.
We need your help
At this point we are trying to talk to as many current and former Selland Auto Transport drivers as possible. We want your take. We would like your help in order to win this case.
Sometimes current drivers are concerned about the company finding out what they said to a lawyer. What I can say is that talking to a lawyer is sort of like talking to a priest. If you consult with a lawyer what you say to the lawyer is protected by the attorney-client privilege. Generally, this means that no one can find out what you said to the lawyer.
We look forward to hearing from you so we can help you get back the wages that your are owed.
In the meantime, you can call us to get the latest status of the Selland Auto Transport California Class Action lawsuit.