Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the global advisor on staffing and workforce solutions, reports that a courier service in Oregon misclassified drivers and was required to pay $3.2 million for damages. SIA reports:
A federal court ordered the owner of a Portland, Ore.-based courier service to pay $3.2 million for failing to pay minimum wage and overtime to drivers misclassified as independent contractors, the US Department of Labor announced.
The US District Court for the District of Oregon entered a consent judgment against Gerald Brazie, Jr. and three Portland-based companies he controls, requiring that their drivers be paid approximately $3.1 million in wages and liquidated damages for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The judgment also requires the delivery service to pay $112,900 in civil money penalties.
The judgment acts on a lawsuit the Labor Department brought in December 2016 against Brazie and his companies — Senvoy LLC, Driver Resources LLC and ZoAn Management Inc. — for minimum wages and overtime pay violations to couriers driving under the Senvoy name since at least 2010.
According to the Labor Department, Brazie illegally required Senvoy-controlled drivers to sign contracts with Driver Resources, a corporate shell entity managed by ZoAn Management Inc. Ultimately, the violations arose from Senvoy’s practice of classifying its couriers as independent contractors, rather than as employees. As a result, Senvoy failed to pay its couriers for all hours worked and charged the couriers with expenses, including the cost of gas and other costs attendant to using the drivers’ vehicles for Senvoy’s delivery work.
In addition to the recovery of $3.2 million in unpaid back wages, liquidated damages and penalties, the defendants were ordered to classify drivers as employees. The defendants also must obtain a third-party audit of their employment practices within six months and issue notices to their workers and managers regarding employees’ rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“The facts here were clear and unequivocal: These drivers, under unambiguous and long-settled federal law, are and were Senvoy LLC employees,” Regional Solicitor Janet Herold said.