Court: Covenant can’t make employees waive workers’ comp

user-gravatar Headshot

Covenant Transport no longer can ask its employees to sign paperwork stating they waive their rights to seek workers’ compensation, according to court documents. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development took the Chattanooga-based company to court after it learned of the practice.

In an order signed April 24 in Hamilton County Chancery Court, Chancellor Frank Brown III declared Covenant’s waiver void, relieving the company of none of its obligations under state workers’ compensation law.

According to court documents, the company agreed to stop using the forms or any similar documents. It also agreed to contact any past or present employees presented with the waiver to inform them that their rights are unaffected, whether they signed or not, and agreed to give current employees a summary of their rights under state workers’ compensation law. When these provisions are satisfied, the court will issue a final order dismissing the matter, the order read.

Covenant officials did not return phone calls seeking comment. The publicly traded truckload carrier, which operates nearly 3,500 trucks and more than 8,500 trailers, ranked No. 30 on CCJ‘s Top 250 for-hire trucking operations last August.