Report: Mail hauler stiffed workers out of $1.4M

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A California mail hauling company contracted by the U.S. Postal Service underpaid workers by nearly $1.4 million, the U.S. Department of Labor reportedly alleged Tuesday, Aug. 21. A lawsuit against Alan Berman Trucking claimed the company, which received some $10 million in government contracts, violated several agreements between June 2005 and February, the Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, the Woodland Hills-based company — instead of paying workers in accordance with federal law — treated drivers as independent contractors, requiring them to use their own trucks and paying them by the mile or by the trip, labor officials said. They also alleged the company did not record hours worked and failed to pay fringe benefits as required by law, and that the company made illegal deductions for fuel from the drivers’ pay and failed to reimburse the cost of the driver-owned trucks’ maintenance and wear and tear, the news agency reported.

The lawsuit, which also names company executives Alan Berman and Osvaldo Tarditti as defendants, seeks to recover back wages for 80 current and former employees, and to prohibit the company from getting government contracts for at least three years, the AP reported. The news agency was unable to locate company officials for comment.