A federal court judge upheld a California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su ruling against XPO Cartage Inc. for misclassifying port and rail truck drivers as independent contractors. The ruling awards the drivers reimbursement for expenses and unlawful deductions of $958,660 plus attorney’s fees and costs.

The Labor Commissioner issued awards to five drivers in April after finding they had been misclassified. XPO Cartage appealed the decisions, claiming the cases were preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 and thus, the California Labor Commissioner did not have jurisdiction. US District Court Judge William Keller rejected that assertion, ruling that all five drivers, misclassified as independent contractors, were entitled to reimbursement for expenses and unlawful deductions.

“The United States District Court’s decision in this case vindicates the rights of five employees who have sought for years to recoup the deductions unlawfully withheld from their wages due to being misclassified as independent contractors,” Su said. “My office is dedicated to ensuring workers are paid what they are due under the law and ensuring workers are properly classified.”