A trucking company based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, has agreed to pay more than $1 million in back wages to 357 employees.
Charlene Rachor, the district director of the federal Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, said National Freight Incorporated, one of the nation’s largest commercial transportation companies, wrongly classified those workers as exempt from overtime.
“Yard jockeys are employees who move the tractors around like a trucking depot or a trucking terminal,” she said. “They were not paid proper overtime, and then the dispatcher, driver managers, they were paid a salary for all the hours worked and they were actually entitled to overtime pay.”
Denying overtime to improperly classified employees is a widespread practice in trucking companies across the country, Rachor said. This case should be a warning that they need to play by the rules, she said.
“I think this sends the signal that the Wage and Hour Division is here to make sure that U.S. workers receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” Rachor said. “Certainly we would look to this case to let the trucking industry know that employees in these types of classifications should be paid properly and should be paid for all their hours of work.”