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Truck Driver Misclassification

truck driver misclassification fellerman and ciarimboliIt’s a nationwide issue. Truck drivers across America are not getting a fair wage because their companies are claiming the drivers are independent contractors and not employees. This illegal act has been going on for years, hurting the truck driver’s livelihood. Now is the time to stop the practice once and for all.

At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we are dedicated to helping individuals get the compensation they deserve from big interests. We know the trucking industry, and we know how these companies act. We are prepared to help you with your case and get you the wages that you deserve.

Employee vs. Contractor: What’s the Difference?

It’s not uncommon for a truck driver to be misclassified by his/her employer as an independent contractor. In fact, the California Assembly recently passed a bill that if approved would become a law that makes it nearly impossible for independent contractors to be classified as anything other than employees. Since 2011, California port truckers have filed hundreds of claims alleging the companies have been misclassifying them. These claims have resulted in more than $48 million.

Why do employers misclassify truckers? Because it benefits the employers. If an employer names a trucker as an employee, that employer will need to pay federal and state taxes, offer benefits, provide insurance for unemployment and workers’ compensation, and will have to comply with many state and federal regulations that govern working conditions, wages, and the number of hours an employee can work.

But naming a truck driver as an independent contractor, the burden of taxes and regulations are lifted from the employer. Instead, it is the responsibility of the driver to pay his own Social Security taxes as well as FICA. The employer does not have to provide benefits or insurance for the driver. The employer can also avoid paying overtime or reimbursing the driver for any business expenses.

Do You Know If You’re an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

The line between an employee and an independent contractor is often confusing. Does any of the following circumstances meet your situation?

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  • You can perform your job without direction from your employer. For example, if the load is too heavy for your truck, you can refuse to haul it instead of being told by the trucking company to take the risk.
  • The vehicle you are driving is in your name, not the employer. In addition, the trucking company is deducting lease payments, maintenance costs and insurance costs from your wages.
  • The wording used in the contracts between you and the company.
  • How much control the company has over you. For example, you have to follow an established route, if you have to wear a uniform, and if you have to follow the company's standards.
  • Whether you work for or have the ability to work for another trucking company.
  • How you receive pay, whether it's hourly, weekly, by the mile, etc.

What Are Your Legal Options?

If you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, this means your employer is withholding your rights as an employee. If you are involved in an accident while on the job, for example, you will not have the workers’ compensation benefits to pay for your medical bills and lost wages. Not only does this hurt you, but it hurts the state of Pennsylvania – according to the state’s Department of Labor & Industry, worker misclassification has a negative impact on the economy and creates an uneven playing field for employers.

But there is an option. You have the right to sue your employer if you are not receiving a fair wage for your work. And Fellerman & Ciarimboli can help. Our attorneys can examine your situation and help you determine whether you are an employee or a contractor. If it is a case of misclassification, then our attorneys will help you take your trucking company to court and get you the compensation you deserve.

Protect your interests and remember that results matter. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli today for more information.

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