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L.A. to Pay Truckers $26-M for Unfair Nap Rule

Los Angeles, CA— The Los Angeles City Council has learned a costly lesson about interfering with truck drivers’ lunch breaks. The city agreed to pay local garbage truck drivers $26-million to settle a legal lawsuit over a rule banning trash-truck drivers from napping on their lunch breaks.

According to the L.A. Times, the legal settlement will give each of the 1,100 drivers involved in the lawsuit $15,000 in lost wages. The drivers’ lawyers will get almost $8.7 million in legal fees.

Council voted 9-2 in favor of the payout to resolve the class-action suit involving about 1,100 sanitation workers who claimed they were unfairly banned from sleeping and other activities during their lunch breaks.

“Sanitation officials had imposed the no-nap rule to avoid the bad publicity that would come if a resident, business owner or television news crew stumbled across a sleeping city employee,” the L.A. Times wrote.

Matthew Taylor, legal attorney representing the drivers, commented: “The rules controlled where [drivers] could go, what they could do, who they could eat with, all sorts of things."

One L.A. city councillor said the city would have faced likely damages of $40-million if a settlement was not reached. 

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