Swift Transportation Settles Class Action With Drivers For $100 Million

March 20, 2019 by

Swift Transportation Co. Inc. has agreed to pay $100 million to about 20,000 drivers to settle a class action alleging that it makes its drivers fake owner-operators in order to avoid federal and state wage laws. The lawsuit was filed in December 2009 and alleged that Swift misclassified its drivers as independent contractors and paid them below the federal minimum wage after making them lease and maintain their trucks and pay for gas, tolls, insurance and other costs. The suit also included claims for violations of state wage, contract and forced labor laws.

Swift tried to compel the drivers to arbitrate their claims individually pursuant to arbitration agreements in the independent contractor agreements. An Arizona federal judge rejected Swift’s arbitration bid in early 2017, saying the pacts were invalid under a Federal Arbitration Act exemption barring interstate transportation companies from making workers covered by “contracts of employment” bring claims in arbitration. In January 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court said the FAA’s so-called transportation exemption applies to contractors, mooting an appeal by Swift.

The case is Virginia Van Dusen et al. v. Swift Transportation Co. Inc. et al., case number 2:10-cv-00899, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.


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Steve Larson
An experienced trial lawyer who handles both hourly and contingent fee cases, Steve has expertise in class actions, consumer cases, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, corporate disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition claims, employment matters, and disputes involving family wealth. Steve regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state court and has obtained class-wide recovery in multiple class actions. A veteran practitioner, Steve's clients value his creative approach to resolving complex litigation matters.

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