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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed an amicus brief supporting workers and the California Labor Commissioner’s efforts to ensure that trucking companies do not deny their employees the protections they are entitled to under state law. In the case, Ramirez v. XPO Cartage, Inc., a trucking company is trying to deny employee benefits by asserting that federal regulations in the trucking industry exempt employers from California laws. These important California laws require businesses to reimburse their employees for certain expenses incurred during the course of their employment. The particular expenses in the case include insurance, fuel, truck registration fees, and maintenance costs. In the brief, Attorney General Becerra argues that the State of California has the sovereign right to adopt and enforce employment and labor laws, which are areas of traditional state police power.
“American families and businesses rely on truck drivers every day. It is shameful to think that companies would try to take advantage of these workers by denying them the reimbursements they are owed for costs incurred on behalf of their employer,” said Attorney General Becerra. “California has a strong and legitimate interest in enforcing its labor laws that protect workers, and at the California Department of Justice, we are committed to doing our part to make sure employers follow the law.”
Attorney General Becerra has strongly defended and enforced labor and employment laws in California. Attorney General Becerra is currently involved in an ongoing lawsuit filed against Pac Anchor Transportation Inc. (Pac Anchor) and its owner, Alfredo Barajas. The company has allegedly misclassified hundreds of its drivers as independent contractors over the years in order to keep operating costs down and to avoid paying the mandated taxes, insurance and benefits. The case is scheduled to go to trial on November 6, 2018.
A copy of the brief filed can be found here.