C.R. England Agrees to $18.6 MILLION Settlement in Driver Wage Dispute
Salt Lake City, UT – Mega carrier C.R. England (CRE) has agreed to an $18.6 million settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging it made false promises to its California truck drivers and violated California labor and wage laws.
According to court documents filed on February 24, 2020, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Utah, the deal includes $3.6 million in cash plus an additional $15 million in debt forgiveness for approximately 12,600 class members dating back to March of 2014.
Former CRE truck drivers and Named Plaintiffs: William H. Gradie, Milton Harper, Ronnie Stevenson, and Jonathan Mitchell will each receive $12,000 each, while plaintiffs’ counsel will receive $1.5 million.
Also as part of the settlement, CRE does not admit to any of the allegations made against it.
About The Case
The case dates back to February of 2016, when the first of numerous lawsuits was filed by Milton Harper in Superior Court of the State of California.
A bevy of similar lawsuits by the Named Plaintiffs were eventually consolidated into a class action suit and both parties agreed to remove the case to U.S. District Court for the Central District of Utah near CRE’s Salt Lake City headquarters.
Among the many allegations made against the carrier, the truckers asserted CRE violated California labor a wage laws by failing to pay minimum and overtime wages, provide accurate and itemized wage statements, reimburse for required business expenses, took unlawful deductions, did not provide off-duty meal and rest periods, and failed to timely pay all wages owed to class members upon termination of their employment.
Further, the suit accuses CRE of misrepresenting claims about its Premier Truck Driving School (PTDS).
According to the complaint, CRE promised to loan truck driver-trainees approximately $5,000 for tuition with the promise of a nine-month term of employment in which the drivers would be responsible to pay it back.
The truckers contend CRE promised their employment would not be terminable “at will” on the same basis as other CRE employees, but rather would be terminable only for demonstrated “good cause.”
Class members assert this was not the case and they were treated as “at will” employees and docked $2,500 if they were fired or quit during the nine-month period.
Further, the truckers alleged CRE unlawfully deducted usury interest rates in excess of 18% from their paychecks in violation with the terms of Promissory Notes which were allegedly required to obtain employment with the carrier.
CRE Denies All Claims
In a statement to Law360, a CRE representative refuted all claims made against the company.
“We are proud of the training and jobs we provide. We are disappointed that these allegations have been made but we believe that a resolution is in the best interest of the company and our current and former drivers.”
In May of 2019, CRE agreed to a $37.8 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit by a class of truck drivers alleging the company “fraudulently” represented claims about its lease purchase program.
Click HERE to read more about that case.
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