(BALTIMORE) – Today, a district court judge approved a $1.25 million settlement that Baltimore City school bus drivers and attendants reached with their employer, Durham School Services. The settlement covers damages for 372 class members over unpaid wages dating back to 2010.
“We are very pleased that we will finally receive the wages that were owed to us for the work we do to care for the schoolchildren on our buses,” said Stephanie Urosa, a Durham bus attendant and plaintiff in the lawsuit against Durham. “We don’t earn a lot and every cent that we work for counts to us and our families. I feel like, today, justice has been served.”
“Teamsters are proud to have helped these workers bring this injustice to light. We will continue to stand with them until all wages they have earned and are owed are recovered,” said Sean Cedenio, principal officer of Teamsters Local 570 in Baltimore.
The settlement stems from a class action lawsuit filed in March 2013 bringing claims to recover wages owed by Durham. The lawsuit covered hours spent on important pre- and post-trip inspections of the buses, which ensure the safety of the buses that transport children to school. The suit also included time workers spent fueling and cleaning the buses, as well as time spent in initial training, for which they claimed they were not paid. The lawsuit also alleged that the company either failed to pay workers for all overtime, or failed to pay overtime in a timely manner.
A third-party administrator will calculate and issue checks to be mailed to Durham drivers and attendants within 60 days.
This is not the first time Durham School Services has settled over unpaid wages. In 2012, Durham settled a statewide class action lawsuit with school bus workers in California. The workers won a $7 million back pay award for unpaid wages.
Durham School Services is the second-largest school bus company in the United States and a subsidiary of National Express Group PLC (NEX: LN), a United Kingdom-based multinational transportation company.
Teamsters Local 570 is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.