port trucking companies

New California Law Penalizes Companies for Using Law Breaking Trucking Companies

Senate Bill 1402:  Establishes Joint and several liability for customers who contract with or use port drayage motor carriers who have unpaid wage, tax and workers’ compensation liability.

As SB 1402’s effective date of January 1, 2019 approaches, the employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley remind you of the rationale for the bill and the penalties for violating the new law. Senate Bill 1402 was authored by state Senator Ricardo Lara and signed by Governor Brown on September 22. “The bill seeks to end the exploitation of port truck drivers who are being left behind, even though America’s economy could not run without them,” Lara said of the bill. “Senate Bill 1402 will clean up our port trucking industry in a way that is fair for absolutely everyone and protect some of our most vulnerable workers.”

Under the legislation, when retailers hire trucking companies that have unpaid legal judgments against them, those retailers become jointly liable should the trucking companies commit new violations of state labor and employment laws. Such violations could include failure to pay wages, imposing unlawful expenses on employees, failure to provide worker’s compensation insurance and misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

California Employers Beware   

The penalties for businesses that rely on port trucking companies with violations on record comes in the addition of new Labor Code Section 2810.4(b)(3). This provision states that a customer that engages or uses a port trucking company on a “blacklist” shall share all civil legal responsibility and civil liability owed to a driver for services obtained after the date the company appeared on the “blacklist.” The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is required to compile this “blacklist” and post on its website any port drayage motor carrier with any unsatisfied judgments, including judgments for failure to pay wages, imposing unlawful expenses, failure to remit payroll taxes, failure to provide workers’ compensation insurance, or misclassification of employees as independent contractors. DLSE is not allowed to place a port trucking company on the “blacklist” until the period of time for all judicial appeals has expired – so this list is for unsatisfied final judgments.

SB 1402 specifies numerous definitions and clarifications, to include:

  1. an expansive definition of “customer” of a port trucking company. “Customer” means a business that engages or uses a port trucking company to perform services on the customer’s behalf, whether the customer directly engages or uses a port trucking company or indirectly uses a company through the use of an agent such as a freight forwarder, motor transportation broker, ocean carrier, or other motor carrier.
  2. “customer” does not include (1) a business with fewer than 25 workers, (2) public entities, or (3) a marine terminal operator or similar business who has incidental relationships with port trucking companies.
  3. violators share joint and several liability with the trucking company for the full amount of unpaid wages, unreimbursed expenses, damages and penalties. Every customer that uses a port trucking company on the “blacklist” in a given workweek shall be jointly and severally liable for unpaid wages and other damages which are found to be owed by the port trucking company for that workweek.
  4. joint liability under SB 1402 may be determined by the Labor Commissioner, or by a court in a civil action (following 30 days’ notice to the customer). No civil action for joint liability may be brought pursuant to the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA).
  5.  prior to providing services to a customer, a port trucking company shall provide written notice of any unsatisfied final judgments. Failure to provide the notice shall not absolve the customer of joint liability under the new law. The law requires a port trucking company to notify a customer within 30 days of a final entry of judgment for specified claims.

Exceptions

joint and several liability

SB 1402 has a number of exceptions that were negotiated during the legislative process. SB 1402 specifies that the joint liability provisions do not apply in the following situations:

  1. customers who engage with port trucking companies whose employees are covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement.
  2. where the customer and the trucking company had an existing contract at the time the company is listed on the “blacklist,” joint liability shall not apply until the expiration of that contract or 90 days, whichever is shorter.
  3. Where a port trucking company is not listed on the DLSE “blacklist.”
  4. Where the port trucking company satisfied the judgment prior to the time period for which the joint and several liability is alleged.

Next Steps

SB 1402 has far reaching impacts for California employers, especially given that California is home to two of the biggest ports in the country. Companies that are currently using port trucking companies should develop new policies and procedures to comply with the new law. Should you have any questions about California’s wage and hour laws, contact Kingsley & Kingsley to speak with one of our experienced labor lawyers.

Kingsley & Kingsley

16133 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1200
Encino, California 91436
Phone: 888-500-8469

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California Employment Law

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California Employment Law | Unpaid wage issuesAs an employee, you are entitled to all of your earned compensation under California Employment Law requirements. This includes not only your hourly or salary wages but also overtime, commission, bonuses, off-the-clock work, and vacation time that is unused upon termination of employment. We understand California Employment Law and we understand how important wage and hour issues are to our clients. How you are being paid and treated on the job affect your happiness at work and your ability to provide for yourself and your family. We are committed to zealously advocating for you until we achieve results.

If you suspect that you are being paid unfairly or not receiving the benefits that you deserve, contact us today. We have successfully represented workers throughout California and are eager to help you. Call our Los Angeles Unpaid Wages law office 818-990-8300 or at 888-500-8469.

The firm represents workers in an extensive range of industries and employment settings in all wage and hour issues, including unpaid wages, overtime issues, work breaks, prevailing wage and misclassification. For more than two decades, our attorneys have been focused on wage and employment law disputes, advocating for clients throughout California. We understand the nuances and unique rules of various industries and know how to approach each case successfully.

 

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Unpaid Wage and Hour Law

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wage and hour law California overtime compensationMany California employees are not being justly compensated for their work. Our attorneys are aware that some of the most common issues that arise in wage and hour law disputes involve:

Unpaid wages — Harsh penalties are in place for California employers who fail to pay their workers. This includes paying a worker the balance of wages earned immediately upon being terminated and within 72 hours of the worker leaving the company.

Overtime and misclassification — Workers are either classified as hourly or salaried, depending on their job description, daily responsibilities, and role within the company. Many employers list workers as salaried, paying a lump sum, no matter how much time was served. Salaried workers, however, are not commonly eligible for overtime. If you should be classified as an hourly employee or worker, you could be missing significant compensation for time you work over 40 hours a week or 8 hours per day. In addition, double time could apply over 12 hours per day in some cases.

Reimbursement and vacation time — In addition to the above, there is strict protocol for how employees are to be reimbursed for certain expenses such as cell phone usage, mileage, uniforms, etc. In many cases, this includes vacation time that has been accrued on hours worked and must be paid out if the employee leaves the company.

To learn more about unpaid wage and hour law in California, visit Unpaid Wages.

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Dealing With Employment Law and Unpaid Wage Issues

Employee Unpaid Wage Issues in California

eeoc violation | Unpaid wage issuesCalifornia employers in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles sometimes violate employment laws resulting in unpaid wage issues for employees. Employment law takes into account unpaid wage issues and related problems such as: failure to pay the minimum wage, intentional employee misclassification, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, or unfair employment practices that discriminate.

First and foremost, an employee must report the violation. The appropriate state or federal regulatory authority might include the EEOC, FEHC, or a labor union representative. A labor lawyer at our firm can represent you in administrative hearings before the EEOC or FEHC. We also commonly represent employees in mediation or arbitration hearings, or through litigation, if that becomes necessary to protect your rights.

One of our experienced California lawyers can help you understand your rights under both the federal and California employment laws. Employment and labor laws set the legal parameters for employment contracts, equal employment opportunities, wages and hours, health and safety, and employee benefits, along with union organization and collective bargaining.  If you need someone to stand up for you against the unfair practices of your employer (i.e., denied wages,  break periods, discrimination,  sexually harassed, etc.), Kingsley & Kingsley has extensive experience handling such employment law related claims.

Consulting an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer is an effective means for you to deal with unfair treatment in your workplace. Help is available; feel free to contact Kingsley & Kingsley to arrange a free initial consultation.

 

 

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Reimbursement for Unpaid Wages | Kingsley & Kingsley, Encino, CA

An employer must reimburse an employee for all necessary expenses or losses incurred in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, including driving expenses and cell phone use. It is required by the California Labor Code Section 2802. The law further provides that the penalty for failing to reimburse an employee includes liability for the expenses plus interest, as well as attorney fees and costs incurred in obtaining reimbursement. Employees can recover up to four years of un-reimbursed expenses.

In most cases, expenses can be Continue reading