- The California labor commissioner published a list of trucking companies with unsatisfied final court judgments, tax assessments or tax liens as a result of a new law (SB 1402) signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year that went into effect Jan. 1.
- SB 1402 requires that any entity that hires the listed companies be held jointly liable for violations and misconduct 90 days after a company has been added to the list. Retailers and other companies that contract trucking services at ports will be on the hook for unpaid wages, unreimbursed expenses, damages, penalties and applicable interest owed to drivers if they contract the listed carriers.
- The list will be updated once per month and companies that resolve their cases will be removed within 15 days of payment or settlement.
The policy enacted at the beginning of the year is likely to have a big effect on issues of misclassification at California ports as those cases tend to come to state courts as "forced labor" or "unpaid wages" suits.
"This new law incentivizes trucking companies to pay up on judgments and put earned wages into drivers' pockets," said California Labor Commissioner Julie Su in a statement.
Nearly 90% of the drayage workers at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland are classified as independent contractors by their employers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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, according to the labor commissioner's office.
Now the hiring parties will also be on the hook for those wages in yet another example of California's legislative activism.