Supreme Court: Port truckers can’t be forced into private arbitration agreements

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a case involving a Southland trucker that workers in the transportation industry at the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles and elsewhere cannot be forced to waive their rights through private arbitration agreements.

In an 8-0 opinion, the nation’s highest court ruled that Springfield, Missouri-based trucking company New Prime Inc. cannot force its employee, owner-operator Dominic Oliveira, to settle disputes through arbitration.

“This is a great victory for all workers in the transportation industry, including employees, legitimate independent contractors, and drivers misclassified as independent contractors who are suffering egregious wage theft,” said Fred Potter, vice president-at large of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and director of the Teamsters Port Division.

“Although we have consistently challenged employers’ attempts to compel private arbitration to avoid a public legal battle, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes it clear that employers cannot and should not require drivers to waive their right to their day in court through binding arbitration agreements,” he said.

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