How Many Truck Drivers Will Be Put Out Of Work After Los Angeles Bans Independent Contractors?

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Denis ZilberbergDecember 22, 2017Employment Law

Los Angeles, home to tens of thousands of independent contractor truck drivers, is about to roll out its new ban to block trucking companies from using independent contractors.

This week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to launch the process of banning trucking and warehousing companies that use independent contractors to haul millions of cargo every year.

Fact: there are over 3.5 million truck drivers across the U.S., but the real number of independent contractors remains underreported (however, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of truck drivers operate as independent contractors).

That’s a lot of truck drivers out of work in Los Angeles and across California if the city bans trucking companies that break local, state and federal employment laws.

Although the move is supposed to benefit truck drivers – who have complained for years that certain trucking companies violate their employee rights by denying fair wages, rights, and benefits – it risks making tens of thousands of Los Angeles truck drivers unemployed.

Our Los Angeles employment class action attorney Matthew A. Kaufman has reviewed the pros and cons of banning trucking companies that use truck drivers classified as independent contractors from operating in the city.

Why independent contractor truck drivers are being banned?

The main incentive behind the ban, however, is not to put tens of thousands of truck drivers out of work. Our attorneys at the Kaufman Law Firm explain that the motion was the city council’s reaction to the mounting lawsuits and complaints from independent contractors whose rights have been violated by trucking companies.

In its unanimous vote to consider a ban of trucking companies that break California employment laws from doing business on city property, city council members said the goal was to ensure that all truck drivers are provided with a safe work environment, fair wages and guaranteed rights and benefits.

The problem of trucking companies treating independent contractors unfairly is not new, our Los Angeles employment class action attorneys say. Over the past four years, drivers have engaged in 15 labor strikes demanding fair wages and compensation and a safe environment at work.

During the hearings, Los Angeles City Council noted that over 12,000 port truck drivers endured illegal employment practices by certain trucking companies “for far too long.”

In related more than 300 lawsuits, truckers have been awarded over $35 million. And nearly 200 more wage claims are still under review.

But the real number is far more overwhelming: more than a thousand claims for wage theft have been filed by independent contractors in the last four years. The city council also noted that over 3,500 drivers were involved in similar lawsuits.

Will you be affected by the ban on independent contractors?

Our employment class action attorneys at the Kaufman Law Firm estimate that some large trucking companies operating in Los Angeles may be affected by the ban.

The ban will target only those trucking companies that have been accused of breaking the law and violating drivers’ employee rights.

In fact, if you’re currently being classified as an independent contractor, your trucking company will most likely be affected by the ban. Our attorneys explain that under California laws, it’s illegal to not classify truck drivers as full employees.

If your company is guilty of not affording truckers a safe environment, denying minimum wage and sick days, or engaging in other practices that violate employment laws, you may be affected by the ban.

However, it’s unclear at this point if blocking the companies that violate laws means putting tens of thousands of truck drivers out of work. Perhaps the city will impose other restrictions on the trucking companies or will issue warnings to start classifying all truck drivers as full employees before implementing the ban.

Consult our employment class action attorneys to find out more about your employee rights as a truck driver in Los Angeles. Contact The Kaufman Law Firm to learn if your trucking company is at risk of ban.

Call our Los Angeles offices at 310-981-3404 to get an initial consultation.



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