DCD Delivery, Inc. and DHL Express face a proposed class and collective action over their alleged failure to pay delivery drivers proper overtime wages and provide statutory meal breaks.
According to the 20-page case out of New York, the defendants were well aware that their courier drivers regularly put in more than 40 hours per week but failed to pay them at the statutory time-and-a-half overtime rate for every hour worked in excess of 40. Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that although the “heavy workload and grueling schedules” imposed by joint employers DCD and DHL prevented drivers from taking 30-minute meal breaks, the defendants nevertheless deducted 30 minutes from the workers’ hours each day regardless of whether they actually took a break.
The lawsuit alleges DCD and DHL have violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law by failing to provide proper pay and breaks.
Per the suit, DCD provides last-mile delivery services for DHL, who’s described in the complaint as the world’s leading delivery company. The case says the defendants employ courier drivers to transport goods from DHL ServicePoint locations to customers, and the companies unilaterally decide the drivers’ schedules and which parcels are to be delivered.
The plaintiff, who has worked for the defendants as a courier driver since April 2020, claims to have been paid a flat rate of $850 per week without receiving time-and-a-half overtime wages for the weekly hours he worked in excess of 40. According to the case, DCD and DHL were aware that drivers are non-exempt employees entitled to overtime and began requiring the workers to clock in and out for overtime calculation purposes in October 2020.
The lawsuit alleges, however, that the defendants have “attempted to circumvent” federal and state labor laws by decreasing the plaintiff’s base pay rate and adding the difference on his paystubs in the form of a “fabricated” overtime payment, ultimately paying the man the same flat rate of $850 per week.
“For example,” the complaint states, “for the pay period of October 4, 2020 to October 10, 2020, Defendants paid Plaintiff a base pay of $642.46 and an overtime payment of $167.54, totaling his regular flat rate of $850, with no additional compensation for overtime.”
According to the case, the defendants “knew or should have known” that decreasing an employee’s pay rate without proper notice is a violation of the New York Labor Law.
“Despite these requirements, Defendants willfully and intentionally failed to comply with the requirements of the FLSA and applicable state law,” the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that workers were not provided with proper meal breaks as their schedules and workload did not permit them to take uninterrupted, 30-minute breaks. Nevertheless, the defendants deducted 30 minutes from workers’ hours each day regardless of whether they took a break, the suit claims.
The lawsuit looks to represent current and former courier drivers or delivery drivers who were paid by the defendants to deliver packages for DHL in the U.S. during the applicable statute of limitations period. A separate class has been proposed for drivers who delivered packages for DHL in New York.
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