Celadon is being accused of not passing on fuel savings to owner operators.
According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, Celadon, like many other carriers, has a partnership with Pilot and Flying J that provides Celadon with discounted fuel prices.
Celadon drivers are issued a fuel card. If the drivers fuel up and use their fuel card, Celadon deducts fuel costs from the driver’s pay, however, the company is being accused of not passing along the discounted price to the drivers.
A class-action lawsuit was filed against Celadon. Attorneys for the plaintiffs, Cohen & Malad, LLP, state that the lawsuit “is requesting that Celadon return the improper compensation withholdings to the drivers.”
“The class action lawsuit alleges that Celadon breached its Lease Agreement with the drivers by deducting from the drivers’ compensation more in fuel charges than Celadon paid to Pilot Flying J for those fuel charges because, unbeknownst to the drivers, Celadon had a deal with Pilot Flying J that Celadon would only pay a lower “discount price” for fuel purchased by the drivers. The lawsuit also alleges that despite only paying Pilot Flying J the lower discount price for the fuel, Celadon withheld from the drivers’ compensation the higher price ‘pump price’ of the fuel,” Cohen & Malad, LLP, the attorney’s office representing the drivers, states.
“Based on this profit-making scheme—disguised as a fuel-charge-back program—Celadon improperly diverts significant portions of those drivers’ hard-earned compensation to its own corporate coffers,” the suit states.
The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Celadon pays a discounted rate up to $.50 per gallon.
On December 12, a Marion, Indiana judge ordered Celadon to pay $3.8 million, plus $1.7 million in interest for “over-charging drivers for fuel purchases over a 10-year period.” The money is to go to truck drivers who were affected by the discrepancy in fuel costs.
On December 19, Celadon filed a motion to have the case moved to a federal court. In addition, Celadon has filed a counter suit against the lead plaintiffs, truck drivers Charles Wilmots and Kent Vassey, claiming the drivers defaulted on their contracts.
Cohen & Malad, LLP
Indianapolis Business Journal