Swift decision gives drivers their day in court

PHOENIX — Truck drivers who claim Swift Transportation should pay up for routinely shorting them in pay will get their day in court after all.

An Arizona appeals court judge reversed a lower court decision, which effectively dismissed the case. A class-action complaint filed June 8, 2005, alleges the trucking giant uses a flawed method to calculate mileage, which in turn shorts the drivers in pay.

The case claims that rather than paying drivers on actual miles driven, the company calculates mileage using mileage charts. The suit claims that in doing so, the company arbitrarily assigns physical locations in large cities rather than determining the actual distance to a delivery destination within the city to shorten drivers’ miles.

According to court documents, Swift’s manager of contract finance from 1998 until 2002 admits these calculations consistently average six percent less than what drivers actually log.

The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing based on Swift’s failure to pay for all miles driven, and failure to accurately calculate miles.

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