Recently, many unions have put pressure on transport provider XPO Logistics Inc. for wrongly classifying its workforce as independent contractors instead of employees. Although many of the drivers who work for XPO Logistics drive only for the company full time, this XPO driver misclassification means that XPO has been classifying these drivers as contractors to avoid paying benefits.
So, if a driver gets into a truck accident, who will be paying the bills?
The truck driver misclassification attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli believe the trucking industry must pay drivers the compensation they deserve. By not paying benefits and insurance, XPO Logistics is not only harming the truckers on the road but are also other drivers who may be involved in any accidents that may occur.
WHY DOES XPO LOGISTICS MISCLASSIFY ITS EMPLOYEES? – XPO Driver Misclassification
XPO Logistics is not doing anything that hasn’t been done before. Many trucking companies routinely misclassify their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. But why do they do it? It all comes down to money.
If a trucker is considered an employee, employers like XPO Logistics will have to pay federal and state taxes, offer benefits, provide insurance for unemployment and workers’ compensation, and must comply with many state and federal regulations that govern working conditions, wages, and the number of hours an employee can work.
But by 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 or her own Social Security taxes as well as Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (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.
Are You an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
The line between an employee and an independent contractor is often confusing. Do any of the following circumstances meet your situation?
- 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 Rights as an Independent Contractor? – XPO Driver Misclassification
As an independent contractor or 1099 contractor, you are afforded certain rights and opportunities. For example, as a 1099 contractor, you have the right to:
- Control the work you are doing including when, where, and how you work.
- Question if you are doing the same work as a W-2 or full-time employee as this is often the first red flag of a misclassification.
- A contract that clearly details your work to be completed and at what pay rate.
But when you notice those rights are beginning to be disregarded, you may need legal intervention.
WHAT ARE YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS?
If you have been misclassified by XPO Logistics 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 an independent 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.