Werner California Class Action Lawsuit
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.
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.
What Kind of Money Are We Talking?
First of all, there are no guarantees in life or law. 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 on California law, the time you spend in California on pre-trips, post-trips, fuel time, loading, waiting, etc. can 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.
How Can You Help?
If you have driven in the last 4 or so years for Werner in California, you should read this.
1. The lawsuit concerns Werner drivers that live in California and drive in California.
2. This lawsuit concerns Werner drivers that live outside of California and sometimes drive in California.
3. 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.
A Little Bit About Me
My name is Bill Turley.
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 that represented the workers in the landmark California Supreme Court case - Brinker vs. Superior Court.
Recently, I was the only class action lawyer that was asked to testify before the California State Senate on piece rate pay for drivers.
I also worked with the United States Senate Commerce Committee on defeating recently proposed driver legislation that aimed at shutting down this case and similar cases. Thousands of drivers across America contacted their Congress persons and Senators and voiced their opposition to this legislation.
My law firm was, then, drafted by the United States Senate Commerce Committee to write alternate legislation.
Call us at 619-304-1000