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The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC

A Big Heads Up for Werner Drivers that Have Driven in California (Based Upon Our Interpretation of California Law Being Paid by the Mile Is Illegal in California)* ................................................................................................................... *When drivers are paid by the mile and not separately paid for all work - for example pre-trips, post-trips, fuel time, waiting time, sleeper berth time - based upon our interpretation this is illegal under California law. However, the Court in this case has not ruled on this issue yet. That is what this lawsuit is about.

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Werner California Class Action Lawsuit - A Piece Rate Pay Structure

If you are a Werner driver that has driven in California (or you have driven for Werner in California in the last 4 years or so) you might want to listen up. A wage and hour class action lawsuit has been filed by a driver for Werner Enterprises. The Werner Enterprises California Driver Class Action alleges failure to pay for all time worked, failure to provide meal breaks, rest breaks and failure to pay all wages at time of termination.

Werner Enterprises is one of the largest trucking companies in America. Werner Enterprises drivers work hard. It is the lawsuit's contention that you deserve to get all of your fair wages owed to you under California wage and hour laws.

The Judge/ Jury in this case has not yet determined that Werner has done anything wrong. 

At this point we have two things. First, the allegations in the case. You can read more about these allegations on this web page.  Second, is the law. 

The lawsuit alleges that under California law, it is illegal for trucking companies to pay drivers by the mile.  Recently, California enacted Labor Code Section 226.2. Some of you might remember that I was the only class action lawyer that was invited to testify before the California State Senate on Labor Code Section 226.2. Under 226.2 companies must pay drivers in California for all time worked. And companies must provide for a paid rest period. 

At this point we aren't really sure what Werner's positions are on these issues.  The Judge in this case has not yet ruled on these issues.  That is what I mean when I say that the Judge/ Jury in this case has not determined yet whether Werner has done or has not done anything wrong. 

 

What Is the Werner California Class Action Lawsuit About?

California law is different from federal law. Under California law, trucking companies have to pay drivers for all time that drivers work. This includes separate pay for pre-trips, post-trips, waiting time, fuel time, etc.

As you know, one way that Werner pays their drivers is by the mile. Under many circumstances, if you aren’t driving, you aren't getting paid. Stated differently, you are usually only get paid when the wheels are moving. Which, of course, based upon our interpretation of California law - is in violation of California law. (Please note that the Judge has not yet ruled on this).

When drivers are paid by the mile, this is called piece rate pay. Almost all piece rate systems for drivers are in violation of California law. This is because they don't separately pay for all time worked. This is called "non-productive time" under the new California Labor Code Section 226.2.

In addition, California law requires that drivers receive a paid 10 minute rest break. According to the lawsuit and our investigation when you work for Werner you aren’t being paid to rest. You are usually only getting paid to drive.

In addition, California law requires that the company provide drivers a meal period within the first 5 hours. According to this lawsuit and our investigation it isn’t Werner’s policy that you get a meal period within the first 5 hours. 

Again, the court hasn't ruled on these issues yet.  We don't seem to know Werner's position on these issues.  Werner is invited to tell us their legal position on these issues.  However, Werner has filed responsive pleadings in the case stating they have defenses to these claims.

 

“Can I Be Included in the Werner California Class Action Lawsuit?"

If you have driven in the last 4 or so years for Werner in California, you should read this.

First, the lawsuit concerns Werner drivers that live in California and drive in California. You don’t need to drive in California all of the time, just part of the time.

Second, this lawsuit concerns Werner drivers that live outside of California and sometimes drive in California.

Third, at this point the Judge has not certified the class.  However, if you want to be part of this case,  please feel free to contact us.

Can I Get More Information?

If you are a Werner driver you can contact our office and we can give you more information. We would like to hear your take. Also, hearing from you will help us help you get the wages that the lawsuit alleges that you are entitled to.

A Little Bit About Me

My name is Bill Turley. Believe if or not, I am a lawyer that is known for talking unadulterated, unvarnished straight up truth. With no sugar added.

I specialize in driver wage cases. I understand that my firm has more driver wage class actions than any law firm in California. I am the lawyer for the workers in the landmark California Supreme Court case - Brinker vs. Superior Court.

I recently was the only driver class action lawyer that was asked to testify before the California State Senate on piece rate pay for drivers.

I recently worked with the United States Senate Commerce Committee on defeating proposed driver legislation.  The proposed legislation aimed at shutting down this case and similar cases. 

The proposed legislation was supported by the American Trucking Association and almost every trucking company in America. We are talking big money.  My law firm was drafted by the United States Senate Commerce Committee to write alternate legislation.  Thousands of drivers across America contacted their Congress persons and Senators and voiced their opposition to this legislation. 

As it turns out, we were able to shut down the anti-driver legislation entirely.

What Kind of Money Are We Talking?

First of all, there are no guarantees in life or law. Other than death and taxes. I can’t guarantee you any particular result in this case or any other case. No one can. What I can say is that based upon California law the time you spend in California on pre-trips, post-trips, fuel time, loading, waiting, etc. can really add up fast.

In addition, you are entitled to an hour’s pay each day when you aren’t provided a paid rest break and a meal period within the first 5 hours of you shift.

At this point this is a putative class action.  This means that the Court has not certified the class action. And the Court has not ruled on the merits of the case.

This is one of the main reasons we are looking to talk to as many Werner drivers as possible that have driven in California.  Both California residents who have driven part of their work time with Werner in California and non-California residents who have driven for Werner in California.

Think about all the days you drove for Werner in California. That is what we are talking about.

What does Werner say about all of this?

Of course, Werner and their hired lawyers deny all of  Plaintiff's allegations in this case.  All of the evidence in this case is disputed.  They hasten to point out that the Court has not yet decided the merits of this case (which is correct).  At this point in the lawsuit Plaintiff has made certain allegations - some of which are mentioned herein above.  While Plaintiff fully intends and believes that he can and will prove all of the allegations of this case - we still have to prove all of this in a Court of law.

Which is not to suggest that Werner's lawyers in this case are bad people.  To the contrary, Werner has hired good lawyers to defend this case who are also likable folks. 

I look forward to hearing from you

619-234-2833 or you can fill out the contact form on this website.

3 Comments:
Werner in order to protect themselves now is setting up employees so they can fire them I have proof that they continue to shave DOT hours and called them on it
Posted by robert e lytle on December 19, 2016 at 06:19 PM
Employed with Werner from 7/10-2/14. Lived outside of California, but drove in California many times
Posted by Brian S on July 30, 2016 at 03:50 PM
Werner student driver 2015. Lives in California and drove in California at the time. I left after finding out I made less then minimum wage when I did the math on my cents per mile. I have my w-2 and worked for Werner out of the Fontana CA yard.
Posted by Brandon Curtis on March 29, 2016 at 03:23 PM

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