People who drive trucks and delivery vehicles may not know what kind of compensation they deserve or how they can seek compensation when an employer fails to pay them appropriately. Truck and delivery drivers have protections under state and federal laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and California’s Motor Carrier Act. However, employers may still try to shortchange their employees.
When drivers experience the misfortune of receiving improper pay for their work, they can exercise their right to seek fair compensation from their employers. To do that, they may need to contact a lawyer. At Haeggquist & Eck, LLP, we can work with employees of trucking or delivery companies to help them gain the compensation they deserve according to the law.
Recently, more than 717,800 people worked in the trucking industry in California, many as drivers. One in 21 people in the state engages in the trucking business, with nearly 77,500 trucking companies registered. These range from large-scale trucking operations to small locally-owned trucking businesses. About 77 percent of California communities rely on trucks to deliver 95 percent of transportable goods that enter the state.
Trucking companies pay over $39 billion in wages annually, with a recent average trucking industry salary of $54,751. Tractor-trailer drivers earned an average of $47,300 per year. The cost of living in San Diego is 160 percent of the national average and increasing. Higher costs mean truck drivers must earn every dollar they deserve because many struggles to cover their bills even with their entire income.
Our employment attorneys understand the struggles of truck drivers to earn what they deserve, and we are ready to fight for your rights to unpaid wages or other employment law protections.
The classification of an employee or independent contractor plays a large part in what type of compensation you deserve. Employees receive greater wage and labor protections than independent contractors. It is often the case that drivers who operate big rig trucks have an independent contractor classification while delivery drivers are employees.
Because independent contractors have fewer protections under state and federal law, your employer may classify you incorrectly as an independent contractor by having you sign a form at the time of hiring or by providing you with a specific tax form.
Drivers often believe their employer can determine their status rather than the law. This is not the case, as state law has strict criteria for who should have independent contractor classifications. An employment attorney for truck drivers in San Diego can help you understand your rights if you believe your employer misclassified you at your expense.
Truck drivers are entitled to:
Many employers fail to compensate their drivers for the correct amount of overtime they deserve. Others fail to reimburse mileage properly. Due to traffic or delays, drivers might have to work longer than their scheduled shift, or companies encourage them to skip breaks. Another common trick is not paying employees for time spent loading and unloading their cargo. Finally, some employers will make their drivers shoulder vehicle maintenance costs.
None of these situations might have been appropriate if you endured them. Reaching out to an attorney for truck drivers in San Diego can help you understand and act upon your rights to seek fair compensation.
If you believe you did not receive proper compensation, you should consider contacting a lawyer who handles employment law cases. Your attorney can help you recover overtime pay, back pay, mileage reimbursement, maintenance costs, and other forms of compensation.
The law prevents your employer from retaliating against you for exercising your legal rights, and any conversations with your attorney are confidential.
Meeting with an attorney for truck drivers in San Diego at Haeggquist & Eck, LLP can help determine if you are entitled to compensation for your employer’s failure to comply with state and federal wage and labor laws.
Truck drivers with employee classifications have other employment rights under California and federal law.
Our employment lawyers handle all of these matters, and we can assess your rights.
Employers cannot simply decide that you are an independent contractor. There are many rights and benefits on the line with this classification, and employers cannot call drivers independent contractors to avoid compliance with employment laws.
To avoid misclassification, the law sets out the ABC test to determine whether someone works as an employee or an independent contractor:
For example, if a trucking company hires a driver but manages their schedule and routes, the company controls the driver’s work. This means the driver is likely an employee, not an independent contractor.
Misclassification is shockingly common in the trucking industry. Often, the best way to know whether a company misclassified you is to consult our San Diego trucker employment lawyers. We can evaluate your situation and advise whether we believe you should be an employee. If so, we can assess whether your employer owes you unpaid wages.
Many trucking companies try to pay employee drivers by the miles they travel or the loads they deliver. Companies might claim this compensation arrangement is fair and incentivizes drivers to drive more efficiently.
However, truck drivers know they have many more tasks than sitting behind the wheel.
When they park their rig, they might spend time:
Further, trucking companies might require drivers to attend meetings, undergo random drug and alcohol testing, wait for dispatch, or perform other non-trip-related tasks.
When a driver engages in other work besides active truck operation, they deserve proper compensation for that time. However, per-mile and per-load payment schedules fail to address these work hours.
The law requires employers to compensate employees for all time worked, so a trucking company cannot lawfully replace hourly wages with per-mile or per-load compensation. If you have concerns about your compensation arrangement with a trucking company, seek assistance from our employment lawyers.
When you need an employment lawyer to help you take on a large corporate employer, look no further than Haeggquist & Eck, LLP. Our team knows that large companies or wealthy bosses are not above the law, and we will not let employers cut corners at employees’ expense.
We have respect in the legal community and a stellar reputation due to our representation of employees, including truck drivers. Every employer in every industry should uphold the rights of employees, and we fight when a company violates your rights in any way.
We stand for justice, which involves:
If you want to learn more about our services and whether you have unpaid wages, please reach out to our office directly. We will assess your situation at no cost to you.
Haeggquist & Eck, LLP Office - San Diego
You might wonder how an employment law firm can help resolve your wage concerns with your employer. First, a lawyer will assess your situation and determine the best course of action. They might begin with informal negotiations or a demand letter directly to your employer. If your employer does not cooperate, your lawyer can file a complaint with the appropriate state agency.
Your case might also require a wage lawsuit in civil court. The path to compensation is complicated with many options. Always seek the legal help you need right away from a San Diego truck driver employment lawyer.