A federal class action lawsuit was filed last week on behalf of Illinois truck drivers at DNJ Intermodal Services LLC over alleged worker misclassification and wage theft.
The lawsuit was filed after Lucio Barrera, now a former Chicagoland DNJ Intermodal Service driver, reached out to the workers' rights group Arise Chicago about issues at the company.
The complaint alleges that the company misclassified drivers as independent contractors, made illegal deductions from employees' paychecks and violated state and federal minimum wage laws.
Barrera alleges DNJ Intermodal Service made illegal deductions from his paycheck and unlawfully confiscated his personal truck.
"The employer charged Mr. Barrera for the cost to tow the truck and refused to return Mr. Barrera's property until Mr. Barrera paid the company additional fines," according to a news release from Arise Chicago. "Mr. Barrera alleges the his paycheck was so full of illegal deductions, he was sometimes left without any income - even during weeks in which he worked upwards of seventy hours."
Barrera is being represented by Caffarelli & Associates Ltd, which filed the federal complaint last Friday. The class-action lawsuit could cover between 50 and 100 workers, according to Arise Chicago.
"The lawsuit alleges that DNJ maintained an employee-employer relationship with drivers by, among other things, controlling scheduling, mandating that drivers use the company communication system (that the drivers were charged for), and even requiring that they not use their individually owned trucks to work for any other companies," Arise Chicago's release says. "The lawsuit demands full back pay and damages for all workers, and that Mr. Barrera's personal truck be returned to him with damages."