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Industry Insights

Federal Court in CA Rules Fed Ex Employees Not Independent Contractors

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a ruling in the case of the 2300 California Fed Ex Drivers. The Federal Court stated that the drivers had been misclassified between 2000 - 2007 as Independent Contractors, when in actuality they were technically employees. Circuit Judge W. Fletcher ruled that the contractor's status failed to stand up to California's “right-to-control” test, thus making the drivers employees and not independent contractors. The drivers did not receive important benefits that they should have, such as health insurance, worker's compensation, paid sick leave, etc. and were forced to pay for their own Fed Ex branded equipment, such as a truck, scanners and uniforms. You can find out more by clicking here.

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Diesel Prices Reach Lowest Since July 2013

After a period of declining prices, the cost of diesel has finally hit the lowest point in over a year! This week, you will find that diesel costs LESS than it did in July of 2013! The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration stated that the 1.4 cent per gallon drop in the price of diesel made the national average price of diesel $3.821 per gallon. As usual, the most expensive diesel will be found in California, where one gallon will cost $4.084. Also as usual, the cheapest diesel can be found on the Gulf Coast, where one gallon will cost $3.732. You can find out more by clicking here

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Brokers And Carriers - Be on the Lookout for Scammers!

A new identity scam has recently begun to hit freight carriers and brokers, according to the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA).  The TIA states that  it has received identity theft reports from brokers and carriers.  The scammers have been stealing the intellectual property, such as logos, graphics and text off of the websites of the carriers and brokers.  The thieves then use the graphics to create emails that are sent out to unsuspecting victims, requesting them to become "shipping assistants." The "shipping assistants" are asked to receive packages and then to re-ship the packages at their own expense. The scam has been operated entires via email, which will appear to be legit due to the stolen graphics and logos of legitimate brokers and carriers. You can find out more by clicking here

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Pride & Polish competitors - great photo gallery

Great American Trucking Show Pride & Polish came this morning at 7:30 a.m. sharp, and the judges began scoring the roughly 70 competitors shortly after. See all the great pictures.

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Gaines Motor Lines to Pay Fired Drivers $262500 Settlement

Gaines Motor Lines has recently agreed to pay four of its former drivers $262,500 as a settlement for firing the drivers after they had participated in an FMCSA inspection audit which revealed log violations at  the Gaines Motor Lines headquarters in Hickory, NC.  OSHA originally had ordered the carrier to pay $1.7 million to the drivers in November, 2013, which the carrier had appealed. A mediator was used to agree upon the new settlement amount, which does not include punitive damages but does include compensatory damages and back pay with some interest. OSHA and FMCSA will collaborate to work on cases like this in the future to help protect whistle blowers in situations such as this. You can read more by clicking here.

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Whistleblowers Awarded Big Bucks

Asphalt Specialists of Pontiac, MI is being ordered to pay a total of $953,916 in punitive damages, back wages and compensatory damages to 2 drivers and one foreman that were wrongfully terminated for refusing to drive in excess of the federal hours of service regulations. The foreman, who was fired in June of 2012, had (according to the DOT) “repeatedly raised concerns" in regards to the Asphalt Specialists' assignments of the jobs that cause drivers to exceed Federal HOS laws. Both the drivers and the foreman were awarded $200,000 each in punitive damages. The drivers will receive $30,000 each in compensatory damages and $50,000 in back wages. The foreman will receive $50,000 in compensatory damages and $147,457 in back wages. You can find out more by clicking here.

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