A proposed class and collective action alleges three contractors have failed to pay drivers any wages for their final weeks of work due to a contract dispute with the U.S. Postal Service.
According to the 22-page case, defendants Postal Fleet Services, Inc.; The Stageline Company; Vilano Employment Services, Inc. and their individual owners have violated state and federal labor laws by failing to pay workers for the last pay period before the entities’ contracts with the USPS were terminated.
The lawsuit relays that the defendants operate a fleet of vehicles to provide dedicated surface transportation services for their customers, including, until recently, the U.S. Postal Service. The case claims, however, that the defendants have failed to pay truck driver employees at least the minimum wage for every hour worked by requiring them to work at least one pay period for which they received no wages at all.
According to the case, the defendants informed truck drivers via a June 14, 2021 email that because USPS terminated its contracts with the companies, they would be unable to pay the workers for any hours worked during the employees’ final pay period. The suit says the June 14 email stated the following (emphasis added):
“As some of you may have heard, Postal Fleet Services, Inc. (‘PFS’) and The Stageline Company (‘Stageline’) have an ongoing dispute with the United States Postal Service (the ‘USPS’). The USPS recently made the unilateral decision to setoff amounts they claim to have over-advanced on Direct Route Optimization contracts against amounts otherwise due to PFS and Stageline. As a result of the USPS’s nonpayment, PFS and Stageline will be unable to fund the May 16-28, 2021 payroll under the HCR and CDS contracts which the USPS cancelled effective May 28, 2021. We are preparing to sue the USPS for non-payment. Unfortunately, it will likely take many months to resolve that claim. We apologize for the hardship we know this will cause.”
The lawsuit claims the defendants’ apparent violations of state and federal labor laws by withholding due wages were “willful and malicious” given the employers knew of their obligation to pay minimum wages.
The case looks to represent Oklahoma citizens who worked for the defendants as truck drivers within the past three years and until class certification and either worked without being paid the federal minimum wage during any pay period or worked without being paid at least twice each calendar month.
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