XPO settles pair of port driver lawsuits for nearly $30 million

October 15, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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XPO has agreed to pay nearly $30 million to settle two misclassification lawsuits involving hundreds of port drivers.

A California federal judge issued preliminary approval for two settlements last week. In a case against XPO Logistics Cartage, a $20 million settlement was reached. XPO Port Service settled a separate case for $9.5 million. The class action lawsuits involve nearly 800 current and former first-seat port drivers.

XPO is a freight transportation company headquartered in Greenwich, Conn. The company was accused of misclassifying the drivers as independent contractors in both lawsuits.

In the case of Angel Omar Alvarez, et al v. XPO Logistics Cartage, the drivers alleged failure to pay minimum wage, as well as failure to pay wages for missed break periods and failure to reimburse business expenses. In the case of Victor Cortez Arrellano, et al v. XPO Port Service, drivers also alleged failure to pay minimum wage and violations of the California Labor Code.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters deemed the settlements a significant victory for truckers.

“Today, we commend these brave XPO drivers, who decided not to back down and instead fought hard to demand that XPO pay them the money they were rightfully owed,” Teamsters President James P. Hoffa said in a news release. “This is more than a monumental victory for these XPO drivers in California. It’s a huge win for workers around the world to see that by standing together, working people can take on enormous companies and win.”

XPO argues that its drivers were correctly classified as independent contractors. The court noted that XPO raised “colorable arguments that posed a degree of risk” to the plaintiffs’ potential of success.

“With the legal and regulatory landscape of California evolving, we reached a settlement on terms that are favorable for XPO and should put this matter behind us,” said Joe Checkler, XPO’s vice president for public relations and social media.

In the Alvarez case, the class members will receive about $12.3 million. The payouts will depend on how many work weeks each driver completed at XPO. Alvarez, including four other named plaintiffs, will receive $30,000 each. Four others will receive $10,000 each.

About $6.1 million will go to class members in the Arrellano case. According to court documents, each member will receive about $542 per workweek. Arrellano and five other named plaintiffs will receive $10,000 each.

Other members of the class actions shall be notified by mail, the court documents stated. LL

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to include comments from XPO. 

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.