The California Labor Commissioner on Wednesday posted a list of port trucking companies with unsatisfied final court judgments, tax assessments or tax liens.
Under state law passed in 2018, retailers and other businesses that hire companies on the list are jointly liable for future labor and employment law violations committed by these companies. The Labor Commissioner’s Office said the listed companies have committed wage theft against their employees and failed to come into compliance or pay wages owed.
The trucking companies listed refused to pay truck drivers’ wages, overtime or expenses, failed to maintain workers’ compensation insurance, or intentionally misclassified employees as independent contractors to increase profit margins, officials said.
“Companies are on notice that if they contract with a known wage thief, they will be held responsible for the exploitation of the drivers who carry their goods,” California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su said. “This new law incentivizes trucking companies to pay up on judgments and put earned wages into drivers’ pockets.”
Since 2011, the Labor Commissioner’s Office has received more than 1,000 port trucking wage claims and issued 448 decisions in favor of the truck drivers with more than $50 million in wages owed.
Under the new law, considered the first in the nation that attempts to spread such financial liability through the supply chain, customers who contract with the listed motor carriers will now share civil legal responsibility and civil liability for the full amount found due for unpaid wages, unreimbursed expenses, damages, penalties and applicable interest owed to a driver.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office gave at least 15 business days’ advance notice to the port trucking companies on the list before the posting. The list will be updated at least once a month, and the Labor Commissioner’s Office will remove companies from the list within 15 days after receiving confirmation of payment of monies owed or an approved settlement agreement.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office, officially known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, is a division of the Department of Industrial Relations.