The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that workers in the transportation industry cannot be forced to waive their rights through private arbitration agreements. The case, New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, was decided on January 15, 2019.
“This is a great victory for all workers in the transportation industry, including employees, legitimate independent contractors, and drivers misclassified as independent contractors who are suffering egregious wage theft,” said Fred Potter, Teamsters International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Port Division.
“Although we have consistently challenged employers’ attempts to compel private arbitration to avoid a public legal battle, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes it clear that employers cannot and should not require drivers to waive their right to their day in court through binding arbitration agreements.”
Numerous companies across the country are misclassifying their workers as independent contractors, which denies them workplace protections under the law. Port truck drivers are challenging their misclassification status and attempting to recover stolen wages by filing claims with the regulatory agencies to win their right to dignity and justice on the job.
For years, the Teamsters have been shining a light on the issue of misclassification for port drivers. And nowhere has that effort been more intensive than at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the main gateway for products made in Asia. While companies and CEOs profit substantially from the sale of those goods, those who help bring them to market are suffering in silence.