Class Action Suit: 62k Swift Drivers Shorted Pay By 7-10%

    If you worked with for Swift in the past few years, you may be considered eligible to be part of a class action suit against them that includes more than 62,000 drivers. The suit was just approved by an Arizona Superior Court Judge following almost a decade of litigation that started back in 2004.

    The lawsuit was broken up into two classes, drivers who were owner-operators contracted with Swift at any time after March 6th 2001, and drivers who were company drivers with Swift at any time after April 9th 2009. The classes both claim that Swift used the Household Mover’s Guide to pay drivers based on estimated mileage driven instead of paying them based on the actual number of miles driven.


    According to the lawsuit, the difference between the actual number of miles driven and the estimated mileage could be anywhere between 7% and 10%. Leonard Aragon, the lead attorney on the case, claims that Swift still uses the same estimated mileage tactics to determine driver pay. “They have other mechanisms by which they could calculate actual miles driven, but they just don’t use those methods.”

    If you believe that you qualify to be part of the class action suit, but have not received a letter, you should call 866-677-4812 or visit the website here. If you would like to opt out of the suit in order to be excluded or to sue Swift separately, you must make your decision known by September 13th, otherwise you will be automatically included in the class.

     

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    Source: landline

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    { 47 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ryan August 23, 2013 at 5:08 am

    They’re not going to get anywhere with this. Household Movers Guide is still somewhat standard in the industry. Unless the drivers were promised some other method, they have no case.

    Reply

    small brother August 24, 2013 at 8:27 am

    A judge thought otherwise and backpay may not be the only issue. Mileage databases omit miles within origin and destination zipcode boundaries and often represent shortest non-vehicle specific routes that trucks can’t legally or physically travel due to weight, dimension or clearance restrictions. Drivers are given this inappropriate information to use for trip planning and for tax and permitting estimations. Even though drivers may be told they are not being paid actual route miles any liabilty they incur due to these inaccuracies may be transferrable to the employer or ultimately to the database publishers.

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    Clintonstain August 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Baloney. When this lawsuit was announced, several large companies changed the way they paid their drivers because they knew the jig was up. In an age where companies know where a truck is to within 6 feet and computerized routing tells accurate distance to within a tenth of a mile HMGs only purpose is to short the drivers that 7-10% with the flimsiest of excuses.

    The only reason the industry hasn’t changed is because they can afford a small army of lawyers – indefinitely. Their stance has been: “Sue us and we’ll drag it out in court forever. You’ll be out the expense of time, money, and reputation AND you might lose – not getting anything in return.” It’s been going on ten years. I expect they’ll try to drag it out another ten just like CR England and the OOIDA lawsuit over leasing.

    I called the law firm that is pursuing this – Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP out of Phoenix, and spoke to a paralegal named Audrey. I asked that she pass on the lawyers, the gratitude from drivers across the country. Not naive. I know they hope to get paid from this but they could lose. I’d encourage everyone to pass on their thanks as well.

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    Clintonstain August 25, 2013 at 10:43 am

    602-224-2634

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    Mike dar August 23, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Actual Miles driven is a luxury few, very few, drivers receive. I would tell management, going by there ‘Household measure’ was inaccurate as even to the point of ‘line of site’/direct measure of geo compass was inadequate some times and only worse when requirements to use routing through cities that had laws governing/restricting 18 Wheelers.
    Based on this suits presumptions, I would be entitled to 50K$> for the million miles every seven years I drove.

    Reply

    John August 23, 2013 at 5:25 am

    I think most companies pay this way and its common knowledge that they do. Not sure why all of sudden they think they are entitled to more? I am all for paying actual mileage but its disclosed in your pay contract weather its household guide or something else. Great if they get it. All I can say is good luck.

    Reply

    Chesley August 23, 2013 at 5:57 am

    I just wrote an article detailing the lost wages I’ve had each and every year. For me it amounts to over six thousand dollars a year.
    What we need is a way to give our companies a DD 1099 form at the end of each year so we can write off these lost wages.

    Reply

    shawn gherity August 23, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Give me a break! Now the company is supposed to pay for all of the out of route miles these idiots want to run? Whose fault is it the drivers/ contractors didnt find out what the calculation method was at the beginning?
    Im no fan of hmg milages myself but thats what the rates are set from and thats how they are paid. Rand mcnalley practical miles are probably alittle closer nut youd still have some joker wantimg to get paid for going from chicago to detroit via el paso

    Reply

    Chesley August 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I don’t believe anyone has said anything about running out of route. Lets stick to the subject please!

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    Clintonstain August 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

    +1

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    Robert H August 25, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I don’t think that they should be paid for out of route miles if there is no detour required for construction or accidents, but I do think a change in the way drivers are paid is necessary. After all, a lot of companies have GPS tracking of the trucks, so they know when a truck goes out of route, and with the myriad of computer resources to check traffic/construction, so they would also be able to check why the driver was out of route.

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    Dan August 23, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Quite a few years ago, some companies switched to what they called “Practical Route Miles”. It didn’t seem to be any better that I could determine, sometimes worse. If they’re going to promote anything, it’s going to put more money in their pocket, not necessarily the driver’s pocket. In most instances, they pay by the most direct route, but they want you to drive it by a longer “more practical” route, but that’s NOT how they pay it. I have to think some of them pay miles routed on gravel and dirt roads. One company I worked for said they paid an extra. 2 cents a mile for hazmat loads. Whoopee! But, noticed if I took the extra revenue supposedly made by 2 cents per mile, then divided that extra revenue by the base rate per mile, GUESS HOW MANY MILES THEY SHORTED ME! What a joke.

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    Robert H August 25, 2013 at 7:15 am

    If you don’t see a difference with practical route miles, then they are just saying it. I worked for a company that paid PRM, and I saw a big difference. Sometimes, I was even paid for more miles than I drove.

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    Willis August 29, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I can agree with the routes planned on unpaved gravel roads. The dispatch tells u not to use a car gps becasue u could end up in a bad place. Well I went by the truck gps & guess where I ended up. With the trailer tandems hanging off a cliff & the landing gear stuck in the ground & the tractor ready to follow. The police laughed at me instead of helping comfort me. I was scared.

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    B. Chester October 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    The GPS is TOOL to HELP you. It requires a functioning brain on your part as well as working eyes. YOU are quite obviously a FOOL, who goes blithely around with your head where the sun don’t shine and blames it on someone else when you get into trouble. I bet you voted for OBAMA too didn’t you?

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    James C August 23, 2013 at 6:49 am

    It is unfair mileage pay because the pay is based upon routes trucks very often cannot take.

    The driver is forced to take “the long way around” because of mandated routing and weight limits, height concerns, etc.

    Either way, if the drivers for Swift win their suit, guess what? We’ll see a sweeping change take place in how ALL carriers pay their drivers.

    Funny little thing called “precedent” is why. ;)

    Reply

    john August 23, 2013 at 6:49 am

    all these big company’s do that. that’s one of the reasons why i refuse to lease to any of them. if you do your homework, there are company’s that will treat you fairly,and pay you by truck rout. not as the crow days. this is old news but with today technology,any company that still pays this should be forced to stop. i guess swift is the beings of it. perfect candidate.

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    Clintonstain August 25, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Does Landstar pay by off the actual truck route?

    Reply

    Über_Rob August 23, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Yeah, swift owes me quite a but of money for the 1.5 years I was contracted to them as an owner op, and the 4 months I drove as a company driver. I honestly think this is an important that we win this, as this could turn the tables for pay for the entire industry (unless your making percentage). Not only that, Swift needs to be taken down by any means necessary. Give they’re freight to companies or small business owner ops that deserve and can SAFELY run their freight, this of course excludes Fed Ex, as they’re drivers may actually be worse.

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    Cliff Downing August 23, 2013 at 7:01 am

    There are two sides to this mileage pay coin. I agree the HHG method is totally unrealistic. But the so-called “actual” miles is a relative concept also and can vary from driver to driver as to what it actually takes to get from point A to point B. Some have seizures with even the thought of going down a paved county road that is truck legal and will not route themselves that way. These roads will not even show up on a Rand McNally atlas the majority of the time, yet in some states, these county highways are as good or better than the state and Federal roads. Iowa is a classic example of this. Even the truck specific GPS gadgets will have a brain cramp when I go down some of these kinds or roads, even though I have been going down them for years, legally. My out of route averages, year over year, are in the 3% range on irregular route load running. These guys are claiming 7-10%. I see this litigation being drawn out and no one but the lawyers benefiting in any way.

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    Darren cromwell August 23, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Swift has mandatory routing! You get in trouble for going out of route. I was a driver for them in 2010-2011. There SOP is to rip of there drivers! Im still owed vacation pay, detention, and breakdown pay from 2011! I hope we win the suit and they have to pay up every cent!!! They make millions and rip off and there drivers? There shady and deserve what they get.

    Reply

    Robert August 23, 2013 at 9:15 am

    James C, your remarks are well taken. If a commercial truck becomes available to perform as the crow flies count me in.

    Reply

    Momoftbm August 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

    We are always fighting for them to pay the layover pay and detention pay. The load planners can’t do basic math on drivers hours. And they still insist on paying rookie wages to experienced drivers. They let people who are unclean, overweight, and unkept stay employed.

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    B. Chester October 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    WHY do these PDB’s even work for them? is it to pay off their driving schools? A form of indentured servitude? WE need to get the word out about the community colleges that will help them get a CDL for less and wont lock them into shit jobs for shit pay. (PDB = Poor Dumb Bastard) I thought the word was out about these bottom feeders. Never had the desire to work for one of these mega- carriers. Been tanker yanking for 30+ years. Get treated better, drive better equipment, and make better money than the box haulers do. and yes I’m pulling Hazmat loaded one way.

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    Larry Benoit August 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Routing has an impact on Hours Of Service violations. I have had dispatchers say one warehouse is three miles away from the second one in the next city in Virginia. The truck has to go all the to the back of the town from the interstate in both cities, about thirty five miles through red lights. Their appointments are based on the computers’ quick miles and sit at their desks hoping the computer is right, refuse to listen to the driver and put late penalties on the DAC report.
    FMCSA should look at the impact forced routing has on safety compliance.
    Shippers should look at how routing can determine when the truck can physically be there

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    Michael August 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Actually there are companies that pay off of the actual mileage minus any out of route miles of course. Swift, CR England, Prime and several other companies bill the Shippers and Consignees actual miles yet pay their drivers a zip code to zip code estimsted mileage based pay.theygive the driver routing and knowingly less miles than they are billing customers. They expect drivers to be acceptant of this practise and for the most part a large majority of drivers are. After all the trucking industry as a.whole has been screwing over their own employees ( drivers) for zo long many have been conditioned to accept it. It does not make it right though. These companies abuse their drivers hours of servic, convienently forget to reimburse expenses untill called, short change a drivers miles and do not pay for the drivers on duty time in most cases. If a regular corporate business in the united states tried to not pay their employees on duty time there would be a crackdown from national labor associations. Personally I hope they lose their asses.

    Reply

    Troy August 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I was a company driver for 4 years and an owner op for a other 4 years total miles probably va million at six to nine percent about 80 to 90 thousand bucks.. ha ha I’ll take it… but I’m sure swift will file bk and come out smelling like a rose…

    Reply

    Troy August 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Also I think it really depends on how swift billed its customers. . Did the charge hub miles and pay hhg miles? Then they are totally BUSTED…Actually if they pay the 10 Percent to drivers I could get Closer to 100 thousand. .. Sweet!!! One can dream…

    Reply

    Troy August 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Plus interest for 10 years. We could see almost double the original amount..

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    Clintonstain August 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Enough to get started with your own truck and away from the corporate blood suckers. Important point.

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    David August 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Abhorrent practices!
    Household Movers Guide exempts only household movers on certain routes restricted to all heavy vehicle traffic. More route restrictions are in place for hazmat loads and over-dimensional / over-wight movers which are subject to pre approved permitted routes only. We all know that the disconnect between the regulations and restrictions regarding heavy truck routing and the driver’s pay schedule and criteria, is something widely accepted as an industry standard. Even if some could argue that this practice is legal, that doesn’t make it right or just under any kind of labor laws and contracts thereof. It is unacceptable to force someone into performing extra amounts of labor for which their compensation is refused under contractual guides, but due to routing restrictions and regulations which they must obey, they have to perform the expected extra labor.
    Maybe if the commercial drivers will have their designation officially changed to PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS. Also we must be included into the labor laws (40 hours per week and anything over 40 hours should be calculated as overtime at an increased rate) and be compensated at a decent hourly rate from the time the logbook/EOBR starts at the home terminal, to the time it is stopped at the home terminal, rather than “per mile rate”. A supplementary per-diem for all operations which necessitates time in the truck’s sleeper berth, including any trip at a distance greater than what the regulations would facilitate the driver to return to his/hers domicile in one work shift.
    This measures would put an end to the slavery conditions that the drivers work under presently, and also the carriers would be forced to either stop the “cut throat” business practices or go out of business. It’ll be nice to see the end of Crony-Capitalism practiced by the “big business”, being in bed with the law makers in government and in many cases purchasing themselves through lobbying all sorts of government subsidies under the diverse government programs such as the famous “Too Big To Fail” garbage.
    No one should be forced to work for free or otherwise be refused employment. It seems that slavery wasn’t abolished at all. It most certainly looks that the government teamed up with the corporate world runs the biggest slavery plantation that ever was on the face of this earth!!!!

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    Bill August 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Truck drivers NEED to be paid BY THE HOUR! Until they are they will continue to be SLAVES, exploited by multimillionaire businessmen in suits and fancy houses sipping champagne while drivers do half their work for FREE every dang day.

    Get paid all the miles you drive? NOPE
    Get paid for inspecting the truck? NOPE
    Get paid for small maintenance you do on the truck? NOPE
    Get paid for backing up and getting into impossible tight docks? NOPE

    What a job – half of it drivers do FOR FREE!!!!!

    Reply

    David August 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    How about the 2 hour at no charge at the shippers and receivers? And how about the 3rd, 4rth and N’th hour that in many cases the customer refuses to pay, the carrier/load broker/load agent neglects to charge (as to not to piss of the “all mighty customer”) and in the cases that the carrier and/or load broker/load agent charges and gets paid, they tell you the driver or the O/O that the customer has not paid and thus you don’t get paid????? All though some trucking companies will sprinkle a couple of pennies to the company drivers in order to pacify them and keep them slaving away making the corporations and its elites rich. As for a lot of O/O’s that have payments on their equipment and/or equipment maintenance bills(if it’s paid for but old and in need of allot of maintenance, like my case) , well, most are just taking it under the chin and slave away trying their darnest to stay afloat and support their families the best they know how under the circumstances.

    Trucking industry is the most corrupt industry that rivals only the government with all the scummy politicians and its myriad of corrupt agencies.

    Someone told me long time ago to: “hope for the best but prepare for the worst, cause the worst it’s the one that’s most likely to happen!”

    If we quit having any hope at all, we might just do ourselves a favor if we dig a hole in the ground, jump in it and pull the dirt in top of us. But at the same time, living under the tyranny of the corrupt and unashamed rampant corruption at every level of society, it’s nothing more than a miserable existence of a prolonged death.
    It seems that the American generation of 1770′s, was the last generation on the face of this earth that had enough balls to utter the words: “Give me freedom, or give me death!” in the year of our Lord 1776.
    As for our generation, cowards, it’s not even close enough to describe the state that we’re in.
    We might just well deserve what’s coming our way!

    Reply

    John Ciely August 24, 2013 at 5:25 am

    We will always be paid what the market will bear. This is a very competitive industry. Our best option is to maximize our profit by keeping our cost of operation as low as we can.
    John

    Reply

    David August 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Who’s “we” John?
    Isn’t it amazing how “the market” will and does bear generously the cost of the scum(some which are ridiculously rich) in the nice air conditioned corporate offices all across the board, shuffling paper, fooling around on the computer and making a couple of phone calls to their “crime buddies”, with the exception of the slaves on the line and the ones behind the steering wheel of a truck. It’s also amazing how this brave new world has built itself around the scumbag bureaucracy that exists only to bully, harass, dominate, dictate, enslave and persecute the ones that actually sweat and toil making things happen. And it so happens that the market is never able to bear a better life for the ‘hands on’ working grunt, only for the millionaire CEO’s, bosses and the corporate bureaucrats closest to them. They live life like kings and queens for producing only hot air and a ton of human excrement which another slave has to clean up after them, while the rest of us toil and sweat for scraps, working hard making them richer.

    If “we” means load brokers and first hand carriers that act like load brokers, I get your point. But don’t you ever talk in the name of the drivers and small business O/Os about the “market” bearings!!!

    Reply

    Clintonstain August 25, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Amen brother!

    Reply

    matt August 28, 2013 at 5:54 am

    bunch of whiners who want everything handed to them. No one made you become a truck driver. You agreed to the pay conditions when you took the job. Trucking is a low profit margin whether you are a mega, an independant, small fleet owner or whatever. Isee the rates that are charged. The full rate. And when you take the cost of operation and paying the driver the owner of truck doesnt make all that much. Yeah the owner of Swift and other megas may be rich but thats because of the amount of trucks on the road. Break it down to profit for an individual truck and the profit margin might suprise you on how low it is

    Reply

    David September 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

    @matt: Listen you shmuck!!!
    Trucking industry is a low to nothing proffit margin business because of cronyism practiced by the big business in conjunction with government. So is every other business we serve with their transportation needs.
    Mega companies like Swift are able to suport a well fed bureacracy because of volume, but also because they get all sorts of perks and government subsidies. That’s Crony Capitalism, also known as Socialism that completely destroys what would rather suppose to be a Free Market Capitalism Competition. If it would be to get rid of these cronyism practicess, all these mega run of the mill slavery plantations will either have to clean up their act and demand a living and competitive rate for the services, or go out of business just like the little guy that goes out of business today, all because of the crony practicess which drops the rates to the miserable levels we see today.
    Who forced me to be a trucker and operate in this industry?
    Who the F made you my judge, shmuck?
    I’ve been in this business longer than you’ve been alive!
    Have some respect!!!

    Reply

    David August 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    And also about “maximizing our profit by keeping our cost of operation low”.
    Boy, you’ve got the corporate BS gargle down to a T!
    Listen: First of all, excess and waste is NOT a good thing at any time and in any circumstance. That means that consuming the least amount of resources in any operation is the thing to do in both, at a time of plenty and at a time of scarcity.
    But what you’re trying to say, and you’re repeating what these white collar hotshots sitting on mountains of dough are preaching, that we’re suppose to make a good crackling whip out of shit.
    Oh, they’ll tell you to slow down for an extra 1/2 mi/gal fuel economy and obey all the rules and regulations concerning time, but “get the job done yesterday”, cause we don’t want to piss off the customer.
    Then you have all the smart asses coming up with more crap that you now have to buy in order to make your truck more “aerodynamic”. What a wonderful concept: You’ll save plenty of $$$ (a future promise that usually ends up to be just more BS), but you have to pay tons of $$$ right now, or go in debt and pay interest rates in order to install and maintain more garbage on your truck that promises practically an unmeasurable amount of fuel savings. The more crap that you have on the truck, the more maintenance $$$ you have to spend, and even though you may save a few $$$ on fuel, it gets eaten up bu the purchase and maintenance of the extra crap you’ve added to your list of possible breakdowns.
    Isn’t it amazing that when it comes to reducing weight and wearable parts on the trucks, like the second differential in the tandem configuration, and thus eliminating the power divider also, eliminating about $10,000 when it breaks down, and an increase of about 1 mi/gal fuel savings if going to single drive + lift axle, not very many voices are heard in the truck and truck parts builders end of the business, nor the government is willing to change truck configuration, axle configurations and wights distribution legislation and regulations in order to facilitate a truck/truck&trailer configuration that would actually increase truck aerodynamics by design, without the need to add more crap to the truck body, like the wind&turbulence trapping gap between the cab and trailer. To reduce this gap you need to change the configuration geometry, you need to place the kingpin further back under the trailer at about 6′ setting in order to reduce the side movement arch tightness at the front of trailer when turning by increasing the radius. This arch being larger allows you to shorten the gap between cab and trailer to just 8″-10″, thus eliminating 33-40% of drag without adding any new components to the truck. The other 40-45% is at the ass end of the trailer which there’s not much you can do and the rest has to do with undercarriage and sides surfaces. Very little with how the front end of the truck is. In the wind tunnel tests they found out in Europe that it’s better to have a well designed and aerodynamically channeled flat front end COE truck than a conventional with a multitude of surface changing angles and steps like the perceived “aerodynamic” conventional design. Every time when you add an extra angle to the surface of cab, it creates drag.
    But before we’ll get our heads out of our asses here in North America and actually look around for common sense things that are proven and work and adopt them, implement them and actually save $$$, before then, we could just keep on preaching and eating corporate fed BS, keep on buying all sorts of little to big contraptions promising the world, but delivering next to nothing other them more wasted $$$ and keep on trying our darnest to make that whip made out of shit crackle really loud.
    Good Luck!

    Reply

    Brian Shanabrough August 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

    WELCOME to the wonderful world of trucking…Drivers have been shorted on miles from day one..The company charges what the customer will pay(we dont want to lose a customer).The driver gets paid HHG miles(city limits to city limits)Very few companies pay percentage any more.I’ve worked on percentage and averaged better than mileage pay.You keep your deadhead down and stay away from cheap freight. When the boss makes money ,so do I.
    Companies will ALWAYS report and pay on the shortest miles ( we cant pay to much in fuel taxes)

    Reply

    Joe August 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Call me nuts, but I think employees need to be payed for work performed if they’re on piece rate they should be payed for every piece. If they’re on hourly they should get payed for every hour they work. Owner ops on the other hand are contracting, if they accept the contract to go 1000 miles at 800 miles pay, well that’s their decision.

    Reply

    mike August 24, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    The shortest rt from houston to sumner wa is 2449 miles. Yet I got paid 2200somthing. Tell me thats not a straight up con.

    STAY AWAY FROM SWIFT

    Reply

    Fred Durdin August 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    One Voice One Cause!

    Reply

    philip August 25, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Yep fuel is 4 to five times more expensive and the the industry is still here try and get a raise and they may give it to you oil companies just take and we beg

    Reply

    Outlaw August 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    If you want to be a trucker …. practice bending over often!

    Reply

    Steve Bell August 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    People most often value a thing based on what they pay for it….Just as long as you will work for free they will continue to use your free labor….

    After all the only way that they can waste your time is not to use it…Look around ..Everyone else gets paid for all of the time that they put in and all of the work that they do..And they get overtime pay too..

    Just as long as you give it away …They will take it…And charge the customer for what you give away too…If you want to work for free come by my place and I’ll always find something for you to do!..

    Organize and stop working for free…Or just be happy with the crumbs that they throw you and stop complaining….Nobody else shows up for work at the appointed place and time and doesn’t get paid for it….Ditto for pre and post checks…What about tarping?…and Dock work?….Breaking down pallets??…Why pay a guy when you are there to do it for free???….How much work did you do for free this week???..As long as you will work for free …they won’t pay me or anyone else more !!!..

    Reply

    cheyenne August 30, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Lol dejavu….truckings become a joke…

    Reply

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