Gerald Davis was a long-haul truck driver for Louis Broadwell, LLC in Charleston, S.C. He was a “leased” employee and Broadwell had leased him through PeopLease Corporation. Davis and the other truck drivers for Broadwell were compensated based upon a percentage of the company’s revenue for each load. Broadwell would then designate a portion of the compensation as a “per diem” payment. Specifically, Broadwell and PeopLease designated $52 per day in compensation as a per diem payment.

Our law firm, along with the Strom Law Firm in Columbia, S.C., has filed a class action lawsuit against PeopLease and Broadwell, alleging the Defendants failed to pay Davis and other truck drivers minimum wage. That was because the daily per diem payment should have been excluded when calculating their regular rate of pay – rather than included. The drivers were not paid minimum wage in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

On October 12, 2011, Judge Richard M. Gergel issued an Order agreeing with our contentions, granting summary judgment in favor of Davis. The judge found that the $52 daily per diem payment should have been paid over and above Davis’ regular pay. Judge Gergel ruled that the Defendants’ inclusion of the per diem in Davis’ regular rate of pay violated the FLSA. The Defendants, Broadwell and PeopLease, filed a Motion to Reconsider. That motion was denied by Judge Gergel on December 14, 2011.

On January 18, 2012, Judge Gergel issued an Order granting Davis’ Motion to Certify the case as a collective action. The case has now been scheduled for trial on or after June 18, 2012. Since Judge Gergel has already issued a judgment in favor of Davis and the class, the only issues remaining to be determined are damages and attorneys’ fees. Bill Hopkins, a lawyer in our firm’s Consumer Fraud section, and Robyn Madden, a lawyer with the Strom Law Firm, are representing the Plaintiffs in this case.

In another case, the Supreme Court of Arizona recently affirmed the certification of a class of truck drivers, who were not paid minimum wage, against Swift Transportation. If you or someone you know is a long distance truck driver and has questions regarding compensation, contact Bill Hopkins, a lawyer in our firm, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Bill.Hopkins@beasleyallen.com.

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