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Alleged Worker Misclassification, Wage Theft Sends LA and Long Beach Truckers Back to Picket Lines

Worker misclassification is a major issue in California, particularly for truckers at company yards in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports area. 

Once again pickets were set up by the Teamsters Union advocating fair pay for fair work — something they say is not currently happening. Lines were set up at Harbor Rail Transport, Pacer Cartage, Intermodal Bridge Transport and Pacific 9 Transportation. Almost 14,000 truckers work both ports of call and close to 1,000 companies are permitted to do so.

Truckers allege their employer(s) are stealing their wages by misclassifying them as independent contractors when they should be employees — a state of affairs that that leaves then with fewer job protections and lower pay than if they were company employees. They have successfully won several rulings in the courts with government agencies agreeing they had been misclassified.

If you are in a situation such as this one or a home care worker, a freelance technical worker or other employee that may be misclassified, speak to a capable employment attorney. You do have rights, and you need to know what those worker’s right are.

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Stolen Wage Lawsuit Results in Job Reinstatement for Two California Truckers

Recently, two Long Beach port truckers who had been misclassified as independent contractors, when they were really employees, achieved a landmark victory. Green Fleet Systems in Long Beach was not thrilled with the federal judge’s ruling against them, as they were ordered to cease illegal job misclassification activity, or face contempt of court. The court’s decision is the first of several injunctions in support of misclassified workers’ rights in U.S. history.

Misclassifying workers in order to pay them lower wages is not just a problem in California, occurring nationwide. According to the Teamsters’ General President Jim Hoffa, truckers were being treated like regular workers but illegally paid independent contractor wages for years.

The two truckers were fired by Green Fleet Systems last January for questioning whether their job classification was legal, for filing claims for stolen wages with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and for publicly standing up for the Teamsters Union. Such unjust dismissal is referred to as retaliation, an illegal action in violation of labor laws. The court’s decision to censure Green Fleet Systems acts as a warning to the trucking industry that workers have the right to union representation and cannot be fired for filing wage claim thefts.

Workers who feel they are misclassified as independent contractors should seek legal counsel and find out how the local labor laws apply in the specific situation.

Call us today at 916.486.1712 or visit