A Class Action lawsuit notification against Covenant Transport ( Covenant Transportation Group, Inc. NASDAQ: CVTI ) has been mailed out on behalf of truck drivers who were hired or had their Commercial Driver’s License issued from the State of California. The case in now in a proposed settlement stage, though is has not yet been fully decided. The case is called, “Tami Long V. Covenant Transport” was filed on behalf of the Plaintiff, a former driver and all other drivers who fit the criteria to be included in the settlement. The case number is: 1:15-cv-00278-TRM-SKL . The hearing is scheduled for April 27, 2017 at 2:00 PM in Courtroom 1A of the United States Eastern Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 900 Georgia Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you worked for Covenant Transport at any point between the dates of August 17, 2011 and December 20, 2016 you may be considered a qualified claimant if you held a California CDL.
DO NOT CALL THE COURT ABOUT THIS CASE.
You can read the details on the PDF Document below:
Summary of Background of the Case:
A former employee of Covenant Transport filed a lawsuit in California alleging that Covenant Transport under the California Labor Code, the California Business and Professions Code, and the California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), for failure to pay separately and hourly for time spent by drivers on rest breaks and on-duty not driving time, failure to provide paid rest periods and pay missed rest break premiums, failure to provide meal breaks, failure to pay missed meal break premiums, failure to provide accurate wage statements, failure to pay final wages when due at termination, waiting time penalties, and failure to reimburse business expenses.
Anyone who wishes to submit a claim must submit the claim form they were sent in the mail. It must be postmarked by March 21, 2017.
Law firms referenced as Class Counsel in the case are:
1180 South Beverly Drive, Suite 610
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Jonathan Melmed, Esq.
1180 South Beverly Drive Suite 610
Los Angeles, CA 90035
711 Cherry Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Attorney Craig J. Akerman, Esq. was recently a guest on the “Ask the Trucker” blog talk radio program with Allen Smith discussing the importance for all truck drivers to understand how State Labor laws could impact all “Over the Road” drivers who would like to see modernization of the “cents per mile” or “piece rate” pay system currently in place.
You can listen to the replay below:
How Truckers Can Help Fight Human Trafficking
By Kylla Lanier, Truckers Against Trafficking
When fighting human trafficking, one of the first steps is to reach out to groups of people who can spot it when it happens. Truckers are one of those front-line groups.
Human trafficking is the illegal transport of people, usually those who’ve been forced into labor or prostitution against their will. Traffickers who want to make fast money often target truckers at truck stops and rest areas to sell their victims. Truckers report the suspicious behavior to law enforcement, and many victims have been rescued from truck stops as a result.
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) was started by Chapter 61 Ministries in 2009 to recruit truckers in this ongoing rescue effort. Truckers are well suited to this effort. There are millions of professional truck drivers, all are trained to be extremely observant, and it is their job to be entrusted with other people’s property. That speaks to the character of the industry: Truckers care for others.
Members of the trucking industry, who had witnessed the forced prostitution and modern-day slavery of women and minors at various places throughout the United States, started reporting to a hotline at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC.) Since 2009, when Truckers Against Trafficking began actively recruiting truckers, the hotline reported that calls from truckers increased substantially. As of March 31, 2016, truckers have made 1,371 calls, to report 425 likely cases of trafficking involving 744 victims. Of those 744 victims, at least 249 of them were minors.
With one phone call, a trucker reported that under-aged girls were working a truck stop. That phone call led to the recovery of those girls, plus seven more minors. The lead provided important information that led to the arrest of 31 offenders, and broke up a 13-state child sex trafficking ring, preventing future tragedies.
4 Reasons to Fight Human Trafficking
- Moral– Human trafficking denies freedom to thousands of Americans, and exploits, oppresses, and abuses those who are often least able to fight for themselves.
- Opportunity– Truckers park at truck stops and travel plazas, which are the very locations where traffickers attempt to sell victims. Truckers often have unique opportunities to observe and report these crimes.
- Business risks– If truckers see or suspect criminal activity but do not report it, that inaction can lead to risks for their companies, possibly including legal action and impounded loads.
- Financial– If loads are impounded, the trucking company suffers financially, due to lost revenue and potential legal fees.
How Can You Help?
If you’re a trucking company or a shipper, train your company drivers and employees. TAT training materials are available for free. Once you’ve trained your drivers and employees, go on our website and register them as TAT Trained. Registration takes two minutes or less. If you’re a shipper, talk to your trucking company partners about human trafficking, and urge them to train their employees. Change your RFPs to include TAT training as a condition for hiring. When shippers ask us how to know which companies are TAT trained, we point them to the growing list of TAT-trained trucking companies on our website.
Using TAT materials, the Motor Vehicle Enforcement division of the Iowa Department of Transportation has created a model for other states to follow with the trucking industry. They place TAT materials in their state scale sites, state rest areas, and state truck stops. The Iowa DOT is also working with major carriers in the state, to train their employees with TAT materials. Ohio has become the first U.S. state to incorporate TAT training as part of their CDL licensing, beginning in July 2016.
Continue to talk to everyone in your sphere of influence about human trafficking and what the trucking industry is doing to fight it … your neighbors, church, community, family. Your actions can rescue or prevent vulnerable children from becoming victims of human trafficking, and you can influence others to become involved in this effort.
Kylla Lanier is Deputy Director of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that educates, equips, empowers and mobilizes members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking. For more information, visit truckersagainsttrafficking.org.
Real Women in Trucking partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo584 or entering “promo584” during sign up. This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only.
Note: This article comes from the TruckersEdge blog post published in October 2016.
Driver Detention: How Do We Fix It?
By Matt Sullivan, Marketing, DAT Solutions
If you feel like you’re wasting too many hours at the docks, you’re not alone. DAT surveyed 257 carriers and owner-operators, and 63% of them told us that the average amount of time they spend waiting for a shipper to get them loaded or unloaded is more than 3 hours. The vast majority of the carriers surveyed said that detention is one of the 5 biggest problems their companies face.
Like the old saying goes, if the wheels aren’t turning, you aren’t earning. So, what can the industry do to fix the problem?
The graph above shows responses from 257 carriers surveyed
For one, carriers and brokers can work together to hold shippers accountable. DAT also surveyed 50 brokers about how detention times affect their businesses, and the results showed a lack of communication between brokers and carriers. When brokers were asked how often the carriers they work with say that they’re detained, the most popular answer was 1-10% of the time.
When the broker is able to collect from a shipper, the carrier is twice as likely to get paid detention fees. Two-thirds of the brokers said that they only pay detention when the shipper covers that expense.
But detention fees are usually only $30 to $50 an hour. That doesn’t help much, if getting detained means you’ve missed your next load.
Others have also suggested putting together a website that lets carriers rate and review shippers. Each shipper would then get a score, which a carrier could look up before accepting a load. Or the carrier could take it into consideration when negotiating a rate.
“It’s a matter of fairness,” said Don Thornton, Senior VP at DAT Solutions. “Many shippers and receivers are lax about their dock operations, but it’s the carriers and drivers who are forced to pay for that inefficiency.”
If the industry doesn’t work to find a solution, the government is probably going to step in. Last month, the Department of Transportation announced that it’s studying driver detention.
How do we fix this?
Real Women in Trucking partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo584 or entering “promo584” during sign up.
* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only
About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®
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Note: This article was adapted from the TruckersEdge blog post. It was first published in July, 2016.