Request Legal Help Now - Free


California Judge Approves Old Dominion Freight Line and Dockworkers Settlement

. By

A California federal judge approves a $2.85 million deal over yet another Old Dominion California dockworkers' wage violations lawsuit.

Santa Clara, CAA California federal judge has given the green light to settle a California dockworkers lawsuit accusing Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. of failing to provide meal and rest breaks. And Old Dominion seems to have developed a habit of California labor overtime violations.

In their lawsuit filed in state court, employees Robert Canales and Tai Hang claimed that Old Dominion, one of the largest motor carriers in North America, failed to provide paid, legally compliant rest periods and failed to provide accurate wage statements on time or pay wages upon discharge. The lawsuit was filed in in November 2020 and a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim was added the following month. Old Dominion removed the suit to federal court in February 2021.

Under PAGA, $50,000 of the net settlement will go to civil penalties, 75 percent of which will be allocated to the state's Labor and Workforce Development Agency and 25 percent of which will be distributed among all current and former non-overtime-exempt dockworkers who worked for the freight company in California from April 10, 2019, through the preliminary approval date. U.S. District Judge John W. Holcomb also certified a class of Old Dominion dockworkers who worked for the company in California from May 12, 2016, through the preliminary approval date. According to Law360, each class member's share of the net settlement fund will be calculated based on the number of workweeks they were employed by Old Dominion during the settlement period. Judge Holcomb said the deal fell within the range of reasonableness necessary for approval.

More Old Dominion Overtime Lawsuits

In September 2021, an Old Dominion worker filed a putative collective and class action alleging that he was not properly compensated for all of the hours he worked, contrary to the FLSA and New York Labor Law. Plaintiff Rusber Gonzalez Mendez was employed as a “switcher” or a “yard switcher from 2016 to November 2019, during which time he was “required to work at least 55 hours per week” at a rate of approximately $26.60 per hour. According to his lawsuit, Mendez Plaintiff contends that Old Dominion “fabricated false time records which understated the true number of hours Plaintiff worked each week” and he was “regularly forced to miss lunch breaks” because Old Dominion required Plaintiff “to be working during that time” but he was not compensated for such time worked. Along with violating the overtime pay provisions, Old Dominion “failed to pay all wages due and owing at the time of termination of [his] employment”.

There’s another Old Dominion overtime lawsuit. Another hourly paid “yard switcher” filed a complaint in October 2018 with similar allegations. Eduardo Saenz moved trailers to loading and unloading sites for the global transportation company. Saenz claims in his lawsuit that Old Dominion “maintained a policy of improperly compensating employees at a straight-time rate for overtime work rather than time-and-a-half.” When Saenz and other switchers complained about not receiving overtime pay, management told them the corporate office said “that’s just how it is”.

More Overtime Settlements

In February 2023 Old Dominion and a switcher claiming he was denied overtime pay asked a New York federal judge to sign off on a $65,000 settlement agreement. Plaintiff Kelly Shaffstall was as a technician at the company’s Seattle service center. After 18 months he was promoted to maintenance manager. According to his lawsuit, Shaffstall was responsible for overseeing Defendant's policy against overtime, monitoring technicians' work hours, and approving their weekly payroll. “Plaintiff was instructed on how to review and approve technicians' work hours …it  was critical for [Defendant] to maintain an accurate record of the technicians' actual work hours and that legally [Plaintiff] was permitted to change a technician's clock time to ensure an accurate record of his actual hours worked.

In September 2014, LawyersandSettlements reported that a $3.4 million settlement was reached in another overtime class action lawsuit brought by over 500 drivers, alleging Old Dominion failed to compensate its drivers for working more than 40 hours a week and failed to provide legal duty-free meal breaks and rest periods.

Disgruntled Old Dominion Workers

Do a quick search with Glass Door, billing itself as “one of the world's largest job and recruiting sites” and you’ll find a lot of disgruntled current and former Old Dominion employees complaining about not receiving overtime pay. Here is one comment: “Long hours mandatory, no home life possible. No increased hourly wage for overtime pay, so expect to work 60+ hours a week.“ And another: “hours and overtime not starting till 50 hours.” And one more: “Long 50 hour work weeks. After 50 hours sense they get the overtime exemption to where they don't have to pay over time till 60 hours.”

That’s just how it is. Sounds like Old Dominion will be facing more overtime lawsuits…


California Labor Law Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to an employment law lawyer who may evaluate your California Labor Law claim at no cost or obligation.


Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.

Click to learn more about

Request Legal Help Now! - Free