More than 20 truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been awarded nearly $6 million by the California Labor Commissioner, which found they were misclassified by their employers as independent contractors.

The commissioner found $3.7 million in joint liability against Jim Degraw and California Cartage Express under a law that went into effect in 2016. Under the law, any employer, including an owner, director, officer or managing agent of the employer, may be held individually liable if he or she violates or causes to be violated the state’s wage and hour laws. Degraw is CCE’s general manager and operations manager.

Long Beach trucking company ordered to pay $3.5 million for underpaying employees

The remaining award of $2.1 million was assessed against California Multimodal LLC. A total of 24 drivers were involved.

The hearings took place in Long Beach in August, September and October. A representative for NFI, which acquired CCE in 2017 and also is the parent company of CMI, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.