California Trucking and Shipping Companies Must Evaluate Owner/Operator Relationships in Light of Los Angeles Superior Court Ruling

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Trucking companies that operate in California and also utilize independent contractor “owner-operators” to ship goods throughout the country must re-evaluate whether or not the contractors are misclassified in light of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s ruling in Garcia v. SeaconLogix, Inc.

In Seacon, four Port of Long Beach truck drivers for Seacon Logix, Inc., a southern California shipping company, filed a claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, also known as the California Labor Commissioner (“DLSE”), against Seacon claiming that they should have been classified as employees. They sought reimbursement of business expenses and fees, including fuel, repair costs, registration, truck rental payments, and insurance costs after working for Seacon for a short time (four to eight months). The DLSE ruled in favor of the drivers, finding that they should have been classified as employees of Seacon, not independent contractors, and were therefore entitled to damages, penalties and interest in the amount of $105,089.15.

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