These days, truck drivers have been filling the courts with class action lawsuits against their employers. Lately, our Chicago class action attorneys have seen that the most common debate has been revolving around whether truck drivers qualify as hourly employees or if they can be classified as independent contractors, and therefore exempt from the normally requisite overtime pay and rest breaks. The most recent class action lawsuit on behalf of truck drivers is against FedEx Freight Inc. Rather than dealing with issues of employee classification though, this case rests solely on the issue of overtime pay and rest breaks. The truck drivers are undeniably hourly employees of FedEx and, as such, are entitled to the proper overtime pay, when applicable, and meal and rest breaks.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, eligible hourly employees are to be paid one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for every hour that they work in excess of eight hours a day or forty hours in a week. Employers are also required to provide nonexempt hourly employees with at least one, uninterrupted, 30 minute meal break for every five hours worked and an uninterrupted 10 minute rest break for every four hours worked. If an employee misses one of these breaks, labor law requires that the employee be paid an additional hour’s worth of their normal hourly wages for each day that a break is missed.
The class action lawsuit against FedEx was initially filed by Eugene Chavez in a San Bernardino County Superior Court in August 2012. Just a little more than a year later, the case was moved to the Central District of California.
Chavez, the class representative, worked as a pickup and delivery driver for FedEx as well as its predecessor, Viking Transportation, for 20 years at a terminal location in San Bernardino, California. He alleges that, during those decades of service, FedEx neither provided employees with the proper meal breaks, nor did it provide the proper compensation to its eligible hourly employees when a break was missed.
The class action lawsuit includes rest breaks in this allegation. FedEx allegedly did not provide its drivers with the proper rest breaks and, when drivers’ breaks were missed, the freight company also allegedly failed to furnish its employees with the proper additional compensation as required by the law.
The putative class consists of all current and former nonexempt hourly FedEx Freight employees who worked for the freight company from July 24, 2009 to April 9, 2013.
The putative class and FedEx Freight Inc. have recently reached a settlement of $1.025 million. Of that money, $718,000 will be divided among the 1,514 class members, $256,000 will pay attorneys’ fees, $3,750 will go to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, $24,000 will cover settlement administration costs and, as class representative, Eugene Chavez will receive $5,000.
Attorneys representing FedEx in the class action lawsuit analyzed records from 20 percent of the employees working for FedEx, chosen at random and meant to be a representative sample of the class. The company also provided additional wage and hour records for those employees and documentation of its meal and rest break policies. The attorneys used this information to reach the offered settlement amount.
The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating potential unpaid overtime claims against large corporations such as Federal Express and other corporations for claims for truck drivers for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, failing to pay for breaks, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Illinois overtime attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Mount Prospect. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Elmhurst and Glenview overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.