Did you work as a Tow Truck or CDL driver for Guardian Towing at some point during the past three years? Those who currently hold or previously held positions as drivers for Guardian Towing and its related companies may be eligible to join a collective action case seeking to help with recovery of overtime wages and commissions that Guardian Towing failed to pay.
Did you work as Dispatcher or Customer Service employee for Guardian within the last three years? We are also investigating claims of unpaid commissions and overtime claims for employees in these positions.
Details on investigations related to both types of positions follow below.
OUR INVESTIGATION OF WAGE VIOLATIONS FOR DRIVERS, DISPATCHERS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE EMPLOYEES
We believe Guardian Fleet Services and its subsidiaries named in our Collective Action Complaint court filing (herein referred to as “Guardian”) are violating the federal overtime wage law in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) through the wage practices they are following for employees in various drivers positions, as well as dispatchers and customer service positions. Guardian is in direct violation of the FLSA which states that employees who work more than 40 hours in a regular workweek should be paid overtime wages.
We allege that with this scheme, Guardian willfully underpays its employees in these positions to save millions of dollars in labor costs and to maximize profits, all to the detriment of these employees.
Drivers’ Overtime Wages Earned Were Not Paid
When tow truck drivers, wrecker drivers and any other commercial vehicle drivers employed by Guardian worked overtime, the company denied them the overtime wages they were due. These drivers regularly worked more than 40 hours in a workweek, including spending meal times working, rather than having a break, as required by law.
Drivers’ Unpaid Commission Investigation
Our clients tell us that as drivers, they also were entitled to commissions and/or bonuses. However, they also tell us that they were never given a formula or method to calculate how or why those commissions were earned. As a result, our drivers do not know whether they were fully paid the commissions/bonuses that they are entitled to.
If Guardian failed to pay all or some portion of the commissions/bonuses earned, drivers may have a cause of action to sue Guardian (and/or their affiliates) for unpaid wages pursuant to Fla. Stat. §448.08.
We are currently investigating these driver’s claims for unpaid or underpaid commissions. If we can confirm these claims, we intend to file a separate, related lawsuit for unpaid commissions on behalf of all drivers who claim they have been shorted some, or all, of their commissions.
Dispatcher/Customer Service Overtime Investigation
Our clients tell us that dispatchers and customer service employees also worked overtime and were not paid for all overtime hours worked.
If Guardian failed to pay all or some portion of the overtime wages to dispatchers and/or customer service employees, these employees also have a cause of action to sue Guardian (and/or their affiliates) for unpaid overtime wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 216(b) et. seq.).
We are currently investigating these claims for unpaid or underpaid overtime. If we can confirm these claims, we intend to file a separate, related lawsuit for unpaid overtime wages on behalf of all dispatchers and customer service employees who have been shorted some, or all, of their overtime wages.
DETAILS ABOUT THE GUARDIAN TOWING LAWSUIT
CASE: Ricardo Rodriguez, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated v. Guardian Fleet Services Inc., (d/b/a Ace Wrecker; a Superior Towing Company) Alligator Towing and Recovery Inc., Crockett’s Towing LLC, Kauff’s Inc., Kauff’s of Miami Inc.; Kauff’s of Palm Beach Inc., Kauff’s of Ft. Pierce Inc. (d/b/a Kauff’s Transportation Systems); and Robfletch Inc. (d/b/a Professional Towing). Filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division.
Mr. Rodriguez and his fellow plaintiffs were and are Tow Truck Drivers, Wrecker Drivers and CDL Operators working for Guardian’s affiliated subsidiaries as hourly employees. The plaintiffs claim that they were required to work more than 40 hours per week without the legally required overtime compensation pursuant to state and federal law.
Our lawsuit alleges that Guardian knowingly and willfully failed to pay Rodriguez, and all other drivers, overtime compensation at the appropriate legal rate for all hours they performed work beyond 40 hours per workweek in violation of the FLSA.
Mr. Rodriguez worked a schedule of 5 days, and was on call 2 other days, which routinely resulted in being called to do work. He worked for Guardian Fleet Services (GFS) and the other entities named our our lawsuit, but was advised he was performing work for one or more of Kauff’s “brands,” but it was made clear to him that whoever or whatever entity he was doing work for, he was being paid by GFS. He had the understanding that all the companies were operating under the GFS brand, ownership, management and control.
Mr. Rodriguez’s job duties included being informed by one or more dispatchers of primarily pickup trucks which require being transported on the wrecker. Each day, he drove to the Davie Terminal, just outside Fort Lauderdale, FL, and then picked up a company vehicle. Then he drove that vehicle to yet another terminal in Opa-Locka, FL, and then commenced with his daily routes and assigned jobs.
He routinely worked more than 40 hours in his work weeks throughout the term of his employment, and was paid a premium of time and one half of just his base hourly rate of pay for the clocked overtime hours worked. However, the overtime pay was strictly time and half the base hourly rate and did not factor in, or include the commissions earned, in the rates as required by the FLSA.
He also did not receive any overtime supplement or shore-up when commissions were paid for the weeks he worked more than 40 hours and earned commissions for these work weeks. Managers and supervisors could see Mr. Rodriguez and other drivers at their desks, eating and working, but they were not permitted to claim this time as compensable work hours. They were led to believe by Guardian management that the time he spent working during her meal breaks were not required to be paid, and thus was on his own dime.
Our lawsuit alleges that Guardian has willfully violated, and continues to violate, the FLSA by failing to pay Mr. Rodriguez and other drivers the correct and lawful required overtime compensation and premiums at the mandatory time and one half of their regular rates of pay. Guardian willfully failed to include commissions in the regular rates of pay calculations for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week.
HOW DRIVERS’ COMMISSIONS IMPACT THEIR OVERTIME RATE OF PAY
Under the FLSA, an employer is required to include the value of commissions and bonuses earned in the employee’s ‘regular rate of pay’ when calculating the overtime wages due or owing (29 C.F.R. §778.114). That means incorporating the value of a commission into the hourly wages rate.
For example, if a driver is paid $10.00 per hour and worked 50 hours in one week, that driver should be paid $15.00 per hour in overtime wages for 10 overtime hours ($150.00). But if that driver also earned a $500.00 commission during that week, that driver’s regular rate of pay is effectively $20.00 per hour, and thus must receive $30.00 per hour for overtime wages ($300.00).
HOW THE OVERTIME RATE OF PAY IMPACTS THIS GUARDIAN CASE
We allege that Guardian failed to pay some or all of their overtime hours. We also allege that Guardian failed to include the value of the commissions/bonuses earned when they calculated overtime that was paid. In our lawsuit, we further allege that their managers and thus the company itself, knew drivers worked more than 40 hours a week without being paid the proper overtime wages in a willful violation of the FLSA.
To learn more about this case, click here.
Compensation We Seek to Recover for Our Affected Employees
Our lawsuit seeks to recover all overtime pay due from overtime hours worked for which compensation was not paid at the correct and lawful rates or not paid at all, plus an equal sum in liquidated damages, prejudgment interest, attorneys’ fees and costs under the FLSA’s three-year statute of limitations.
Please review the below collective action complaint for more information about the case.
PRIOR LAWSUIT INVOLVING GUARDIAN FLEET SERVICES COMPANY
Guardian was previously sued and settled a similar lawsuit in 2020 with one of the companies related to Guardian Fleet Services. Conchado et. al. v. Kauff’s Inc. et. al. Case No: 9:20-cv-80344-BER. United States District Court, Southern District of Florida.
We are interested in employees who were involved in this lawsuit. Whether or not you received a settlement payment as part of the Conchado lawsuit does not matter to us. We would like to speak with you to determine if you still have additional rights. If you continued to work for Guardian after the settlement or if your settlement payment did not include the value of your commission, you may be able to join our current lawsuit.
HAVE YOU WORKED AS A DRIVER, DISPATCHER OR CUSTOMER SERVICE REP AT GUARDIAN TOWING?
Feldman Legal Group would like to speak to anyone with information regarding the scheme at Guardian to deny drivers, dispatchers and customer service employees overtime pay and commissions. Our attorneys specialize in overtime cases and have a winning track record to show it.
If you are a current or former employee who worked for Guardian (or any of their affiliates) within the past three years, we want to speak with you. Please contact us at (813) 639-9366.
We would appreciate 10 to 15 minutes of your time to discuss your work experience at Guardian as part of our continuing investigation into the alleged wage violations by Guardian. We are seeking to gather additional evidence in support of our position and corroborate facts about Guardian’s pay practices. We need to determine if the positions and job duties and requirements are similar for all the various job titles used, as well as to investigate and determine if the alleged unlawful pay practices at issue is pervasive and long standing at Guardian.
We look forward to the opportunity to discuss this case with you, and we can make ourselves available day or night.