After an almost decade long legal battle, Swift Transportation, a truckload motor shipping carrier, has reached a monumental class action settlement agreement. Swift has agreed to pay up to $100 million to more than 19,000 of its drivers. According to the 2009 class action filed by its drivers, Swift misclassified them as independent contractors instead of employees of the company. By doing so, Swift denied its drivers from significant pay and company benefits under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Affected drivers for Swift could date as far back as 1999 and would be eligible to receive up to $5,000 depending on their length of employment with the company. Additionally, eligible drivers for the class includes anyone who entered into an independent contractor agreement with Swift before January 1, 2019 and also had a lease agreement the Swift subsidiary Interstate Equipment Leasing. Court documents filed with the settlement also cite the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that helped in Swift’s willingness to settle. The ruling stated that transportation companies cannot force interstate transportation workers into having an arbitration hearing to resolve workplace disputes, especially when dealing with issues of misclassification.
If you or anyone you know is a truck driver and has concerns about their pay, do not hesitate to call an employment attorney to discuss your rights. Unfortunately, drivers are often misclassified as independent contractors as opposed to employees which allows the company avoid paying the appropriate wages and benefits at the worker’s expense. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP can be reached for a free phone consultation today with any one of their available representatives. Call us now at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website for additional information.