A protracted court battle may be coming to a close for hundreds of drivers who filed a misclassification suit against Exel Direct in 2012, a recent report said.
A US District Court judge in Northern California approved a preliminary settlement of $13.5 million to the complainants who alleged that the firm misclassified them as independent contractors.
The suit was filed in August 2012. Among others, around 400 drivers accused Exel Direct of paying below minimum wages, shirking the payment of overtime fees, making workers shoulder business expenses, and other payroll related violations.
In addition, the Spanish speaking drivers were not furnished with contracts in their vernacular despite requests, and the employment agreements were not open to negotiations, the truck drivers alleged.
Further, drivers had to purchase or lease the vehicles they drove from a third party through Exel Direct. The costs of these expenses were then deducted from their pay checks, with Exel Direct still maintaining control and exclusive use of the vehicles.
The drivers were likewise required to speak English during deliveries, as alleged in the law suit.
A fairness hearing for the settlement is set in December.