• ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Report: Court orders C.R. England to pay drivers $2.35m in latest labor suit

A federal district court in Utah has ordered C.R. England to pay 6,336 drivers a total of $2.35 million in back pay and fees associated with the company’s driver training program, according to a report from the Commercial Carrier Journal.

   A federal district court in Utah has ordered Salt Lake City-based trucking carrier C.R. England to pay former drivers $2.35 million in back pay and fees associated with the company’s driver training program, according to a report from the Commercial Carrier Journal.
   The settlement amounts to around $273 for each of the 6,336 drivers covered by the case, with the remaining funds going toward legal fees and other expenses associated with the lawsuit.
   C.R. England did not respond to requests for comment on the case or the reported settlement order.
   The case against C.R. England, which was originally filed in California before being moved to Utah, is the latest in a long list of complaints against transportation and logistics service providers that have allegedly been misclassifying drivers as contractors instead of employees. Top name brands like Amazon.com Inc., FedEx Corp., and XPO Logistics – just to name a few – have all been hit with driver misclassification suits in the past few years.
   At question in all of these cases, is whether drivers are truly independent contractors or, as they argue, full-time employees who are by definition entitled to certain requisite wages and benefits.
   Unlike the majority of previous suits, however, the complaint against C.R. England revolves primarily around the company’s driver training program.
   According to legal news outlet Top Class Actions, the lawsuit alleges C.R. England “violated California wage and hour laws by coercing prospective employees to enroll in a for-profit employee training with a deceptive promise of eventual employment.”
   The plaintiff in the case, William H. Gradie, accused C.R. England of essentially forcing him and others to pay out of pocket for in-house training in order to be considered for employment, as well as requiring them to work exclusively for the company for at least nine months following completion of the training program.
   The trucking carrier charged $5,000 to participate in the program, and those that could not afford the fees were offered loans with an 18 percent interest rate, according to the lawsuit.
  Once the training was complete, C.R. England deducted the loan repayment amounts from the employee’s monthly paychecks – all while not receiving rest and meal breaks as required by California law. And drivers who were fired before the end of the required nine-month employment period were forced to pay a $2,500 penalty.
   The lawsuit further alleges C.R. England did not intend to prepare drivers for eventual employment, but to create a for-profit training business in which they trained more people than they could ever possibly keep, and then “actively searched for reasons to fire their trained workers” in order to avoid a driver surplus.
   “The business objective of the training program was not to prepare drivers for long-term employment with CRE,” the complaint says. “Instead, the training program was designed and run as an independent profit-making enterprise. CRE’s profit in the transaction was generated not by its continued employment of its own trainees, but rather by the volume of aspiring drivers which it could charge for its training program.”
   The case is William H. Gradie v. C.R. England Inc., No. BC 617647.

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