Express Messenger Systems, Inc., which does business as OnTrac, faces a proposed class and collective action that claims the package delivery service provider has misclassified drivers as independent contractors and thus denied the workers proper wages.
The case argues that although drivers are “plainly employees” given the level of control the defendant maintains over their duties, OnTrac has failed to pay the workers proper minimum and overtime wages, meal and rest break premium wages, reimbursement for business expenses and other payments protected under California law.
OnTrac offers package delivery services to addresses in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado and Idaho, the suit explains. For last-mile delivery services from the defendant’s warehouses to the packages’ final destinations, OnTrac hires independent contractor drivers either directly or through third-party intermediaries known as Regional Service Providers, the case relays.
According to the lawsuit, however, these drivers should be classified not as independent contractors but as bona fide employees given OnTrac, either directly or indirectly, controls their wages, hours, or working conditions; maintains authority over whether they work or not; and has “the general right to control relevant day-to-day aspects of the workplace behavior” of drivers.
OnTrac, the suit says, provides its drivers with “strict and predictable schedules” pursuant to its time-sensitive delivery requirements and then micromanages the manner in which the drivers’ work must be performed. Per the case, drivers must wear OnTrac uniforms and maintain personal appearance standards; drive a vehicle with an OnTrac logo; perform each delivery in a “prompt, competent, and diligent manner” in line with OnTrac’s standards of customer service and satisfaction; and use mobile devices approved by OnTrac for dispatch and tracking purposes.
Moreover, customer feedback regarding driver performance is made directly to OnTrac, who maintains authority to require its Regional Service Providers to reassign or terminate drivers if OnTrac believes they should not represent the company, the suit says.
The case argues that in addition to the level of control exercised over drivers, other factors contribute to the case for OnTrac workers being classified as employees. More specifically, the suit says drivers do not exercise any managerial duties or perform work that requires specialized or advanced skills or a specialized degree; typically work full time for OnTrac while wearing OnTrac-branded uniforms and driving OnTrac-branded vehicles; and perform services integral to OnTrac’s business.
The lawsuit alleges drivers were not paid proper minimum and overtime wages as a result of their misclassification as independent contractors, and instead received wages on a piece-rate basis or a day rate. Further, workers were denied proper meal and rest breaks in accordance with California law, were not reimbursed for their business expenses, and were denied accurate, itemized wage statements, the case says.
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