L.A. port truckers win $30 million in wage suit settlement

David McNew/Getty Images
A trucker walks between rows of trucks lined up at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo credit David McNew/Getty Images

Hundreds of truck drivers who deliver goods across the U.S. from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have won a major payout in federal court.

The world’s second-largest freight company, XPO Logistics, agreed Tuesday to pay truckers $30 million to settle class-action lawsuits alleging wage theft.

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The plaintiffs claimed two XPO subsidiaries, XPO Logistics Cartage in Commerce and San Diego, as well as XPO Port Service in Rancho Dominguez, paid them less than minimum wage, failed to pay out meal and rest breaks, and did not reimburse them for expenses or wait-time penalties.

Truckers are generally classified as independent contractors who lease trucks from companies, but can sometimes run into financial trouble by virtue of that tenuous categorization. Contracting truckers can be terminated at any time, thus losing the money they have invested in the truck. They are also ineligible for most labor protections, including the ability to collectively bargain.

Additionally, contractors are responsible for business expenses that can severely garnish ultimate take-home pay.

Settlements are still subject to change, but individual drivers are estimated to receive as much as $100,000 each, depending on how long they worked for XPO.

The settlement comes in the wake