Court sides with drivers, holds that Werner violated the law.
As many of you know, we have been, and continue to, fight very hard for all drivers of Werner. Since 2011, we have been litigating Petrone v. Werner Enterprises. For years, we have worked to convince the courts (and Werner) that Werner fails to pay its trainees in accordance with federal and state law. Many class members signed up for the lawsuit in 2012.
We are pleased to in announce that we have obtained a major victory earlier this week, when the federal judge overseeing the case held that, as a matter of law, sleeper berth time (beyond 8 hours per day) and short rest breaks are compensable working time for truck drivers. Werner failed to pay its drivers for such time. Consequently, Werner’s conduct violated the law.
As a result, the federal judge overseeing the case, the Honorable Lyle E. Strom, held that Werner violated state and federal law.
This is the decision we been waiting for. You can read the decision here.
Even though the Court has held that such time is compensable as a matter of law, there are still a few unresolved issues which must be determined next month at trial. First, there is a question as to whether Werner’s decision not to pay for such time was reasonable and in good faith. If, at trial, it is determined that Werner did not act in good faith, double damages may be awarded, and under Nebraska law, Werner could be compelled to pay an additional damage award into a fund for the benefit of Nebraska schools.
Additionally, the Court has determined that the amount of damages (money) to award to the class will be determined at trial.
You are invited to come to the trial, and we would love for drivers to come to show their support.
If you live in the Omaha area, or can come to the Omaha area, please come to the trial. It will start on September 9, 2015 and will probably last about a week. The address of the Court is:
111 South 18th Plaza
Omaha, NE 68102
We hope to see you there. We’d love to meet you in person.
We are a law firm based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey focusing on many types of employment matters, with an emphasis on nation-wide wage and hour disputes in the trucking industry and elsewhere. We are also teamed up with some of the best personal injury and work-injury attorneys in the country.
Justin L. Swidler, Esq.
Richard S. Swartz, Esq.
Swartz Swidler, LLC