Schneider National Carriers Inc. will pay $28 million to settle a long-standing dispute over wages for meal and rest breaks for drivers in California.

The settlement, disclosed last week, ends a class-action lawsuit filed in 2008 by drivers who said they were not paid for breaks or for waiting at docks for their cargo to be loaded or unloaded.

Judge Jeffrey White of the U.S. District Court in Oakland issued his final approval of the class-action settlement Thursday after granting preliminary approval of the proposed settlement in May.

The lawsuit affects about 7,700 current or former Schneider drivers in California.

In a 2014 ruling, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that California could enforce its own meal and rest break requirements for the trucking industry. The trucking industry has fought to reverse that decision.

In his first major speech since becoming president of the American Trucking Associations this month, Chris Spear said the trade group would continue to push back against jurisdictions that are imposing extra meal and rest break requirements on interstate drivers already limited by federal hours-of-service regulations

The trucking industry is supporting legislation working its way through Congress that would block states from enforcing their own rules on interstate truck drivers who are employees.

In California, the legislation would still allow the state to enforce meal and rest break requirements on a driver who, for example, travels only between Bakersfield and Oakland hauling goods manufactured within the state. That is a purely intrastate movement. But drivers headed out of state or are shuttling goods from ports most likely would be not fall under the California rules.

The class-action lawsuit, Bickley v. Schneider National Carriers Inc., said the carrier, which is headquartered Green Bay, Wis., engaged in other improper pay practices.

The lawsuit claimed that Schneider failed to pay California drivers minimum wage, a violation of the California Labor Code, and failed to pay employees wages for vacation time, personal days off and other paid leave owed when they left the company. Drivers also alleged in the suit that the company failed to keep accurate pay records of wages that drivers earned while working in California.

The settlement came just a day after Schneider announced plans to pursue an initial public offering next year.

Schneider is the nation’s seventh-largest trucking company and is the largest privately held trucking company in the U.S. by revenue. It garnered revenue of $3.4 billion in 2015. The company has more than 10,000 trucks and 33,800 trailers.

Al Schneider founded the firm in 1935, and it has been family-owned ever since. In a statement, executives said they are seeking the IPO “to facilitate continuity of controlling ownership of Schneider by the future generations of the Schneider family, while continuing forward with its long-standing independent and professional corporate governance structure.”

About The Author

Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa Hawes is a Trucks.com staff writer who covers trucking and freight. She is an award-winning journalist with over 10 years of experience covering the trucking industry. She can be found on Twitter: @cage_writer.

14 Responses

  1. Vonda

    All trucking companies do this including Decker truck lines inc out of fort dodge ia.so why are only the large companies having to pay. Decker truck lines inc enough pays less to the west coast fleet than the Midwest fleet and no one cares.

    Reply
  2. John Fowler

    Have the checks gone out yet? Last fall I received a letter from the law firm representing the plaintiffs in the case. In it they stated that I would be getting $3800 as my portion of the settlement. I’ve yet to receive it. Just wondering if any other drivers have received their settlement checks yet?

    Reply
    • Angela sieckman

      818-991-8080 is the number to call for updates. But they will twll you to look at web site…

      Reply
    • A.Ross

      Look up the website addy. Latest is that objector appeals have been dismissed being frivolous. I wait for compensation as well.

      Reply
  3. A.Ross

    I received a letter as well. I look at the website as given on the letter. Current update says 9th circuit has dismissed objector appeals. Don’t know the date of that post though . I quit the company and started a new career in 2010. I was there as an intermodal driver the whole class action time. Threats of suits were constant for the very reasons they pay now. I believe they assumed that no one would start such a complicated case.

    Reply
  4. Mark

    Rarely do any of these companies pay actual driven miles or actual time spent waiting at a shipper or receiver. This adds up to many thousands of dollars per year lost per driver. Should be illegal!

    Reply
  5. Jessica 1432100

    Still an ongoing situation, no pay for 10-14 hours of waiting to load or unload, miles that are not paid, staying on duty for 10 or more hours, burning the clock, no pay. Loads canceled after driving hundreds of miles and not getting paid. Or get told, there’s no pay in the same zip code. Or better yet, they throw $1.10 at you to shut you up. Four or five drops, with no pay or a few dollars. Not any better, a whole lot worse and the treatment from office employees is horrible to say the least.

    Reply

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