Covenant Transport Inc. — Charging Employees for Idling without wriiten warning or notification and not giving their drivers sufficient miles to keep the idlle time down.
I am writing to make other drivers of this company aware of the fact that Covenant has been charging drivers for idle time without any notification and the only notice you are receiving if any is if you check your pay stubs for accuratcy once you are routed home or call payroll each week to check your pay and notice a decrepancy in your pay at that time. I am seeking to file a class action against Covenant as I feel thsi practice may not be legal because if they are going to charge a fine the method of calculation they are using to determine if we are in violation of their new anti- overidle law should be provided in a detail explaination of how it is determine that we are to be charged and if we are charged I feel like it is a disclipanary and should be documented as such by a verbal and or written warning and notification when the fine is being accessed and for what week the fine is being acceessed for. They have no right to just pull money out of our paychecks and provide no notification to us as to when and why. First of all I was a Dedicated employee on the Gp account. I had been on the Gp(Georgia Pacific) account for well over 16months and had been employed with Covenant for over 2 years. I had the pleasure of working on Josh Atchley's board until he moved to another division and I then asked to be moved to Tony Hagans board because i was told that he was a great dispatcher that kept his drivers moving and I was in the process of closing on a home purchase and could not afford to have a drop in my miles in order to have all the money I needed for the down payment of my home and keep my other bills going. That is exactly what happen my miles went well beyond my at least 2500 a week I was told i would get or close to when I first got on this account. I was first told it was GP who determined the miles I got then I was told the economy was the reason but yet the male drivers around me I knew continued to tell me each week on this account how they were still getting the miles. I started to have bring home checks of $75 - 239.00 for at least 6 weeks out of 2 months after allowed $200 advance. to top it all off they tell you, you take the pay cut and are not compensated for layover, drop pay, detention pay and all the other because we get home every week but since the new idling policy went into effect that has not been the case for alot of drivers. I cant understand how this company feels they have a right to charge drivers for idling the truck for weeks they did not provide them with at least 2500 miles or got them home so they could get out of the truck. Then when you call to ask about it then they want to route you to the terminal for a meeting bout your money they took without telling you as if to say if you got a problem with it you can leave but I am always gone have aproblem bout my money when someone takes it without notifying me and they havent lived up to their agreement to give me the miles I need to keep it under control and my family provided for. After my second meeting with my immediate fleet manager and Warren i was told a t that time my miles would improve and was immediately given 2600 miles for the week the week before I was to close on my home but they still refused to give me my money back for overidling on week s i was short on miles. I had came up with a financial plan that would still get me just enough money to close on my home but i wouldnt have much for anything else not even for food but I had to have at least my 2500 miles the next week as well. After running 455 miles for the week and in need of a reset i get a message telling me to go 229 miles to pick up and empty trailer that is about 60 miles from my home so I inquire bout are they sending em home for a reset. They claimed they would advised and the next message i get is one telling me to come to the home terminal in Chattanooga which for 1 is a definitely no-no for me due to my truck being robbed twice there with no forced entry and sevreal more drivers yet that is the main terminal and the only yard that doesnt have surveillence and they want even allow police to set up surveillence to try to find the problem so what does that say about this company that hides behind an emblem that supposed to represent Christian values? Its obviously an inside job. When I called by phone to speak to my fleet manager about it he said they needed me there for a safety blitz and i asked could I not attend the Blitz in Hutchins as i normally did since I dont have no flags anyway and he told me they needed to put my truck in the shop to have the forman of the shop check it for a wiring problem because I have some discrepancies in my idling time and if they find it has a loose wire they would refund me my money back so I asked why cant you give me a load going to texas so I can get some miles and close my home next week they have a shop there too that has a forman and i dont have to worry bout my truck getting broken into there casue they have cameras so since they insisted that i come there I asked to go by home 1st to remove my belongings off the truck then I asked about my 34-reset and was told I could reset after i came there which meant there would be no way I could get 1, 000 miles turned in on time enough to be paid for the week and the plan to close on my home would not work therefore I can forget my dreams of home ownership with this company and I did not see what they had to settle that was so important they would make me lose miles on the week they knew I was needing my money and miles to close on my home so I called to see if I could get in another division after i came up on the 17th of Spetember. I spoke to Michelle Smith who said she would call me back the next morning after she talked to her supervisor about it I never heard back from her but I did get a call from Mr. Terry Swinney asking me did I want to change divisions and I said yes i do he then told me we would discuss it when I got there which made me know they were trying to blackball me to keep me from going anywhere and at that point I had had it and decided I was going to take a personal leave to finish up the business I had been trying to get cleared up all morning since they kept rushing me to get to Chattanooga and look for me something else in the meantime and if they couldnt let me do that well hell they can have their job right now because I had to go get the other monies I had already given them for the dowmpaynment of my home anyway and wasnt going to make any more money out there than right here at the house so why did i need to be working for them if I cant seem to have anything to show for my hard work. After I fax over my request to take a personal leave or accept my resignation I got a call back from Mr. Swinney leaving me a message telling me my resignation was accepted which I saved on my phone so with that being said I didnt work for them anymore. I was then called about 6 more times while I was trying to make an identity theft police report about bringing their truck to the terminal and I told them I wasnt on their time schedule anymore they were on mine and when I was done i would go clean out my belongings and contact them on getting the truck to Chattanooga or whatever other location they wanted then they kept saying since I wasnt working for them I didnt need to be in the truck I was already at the police station in the truck headed there when they told me they wouldnt give me time off and accepted my resignation so why are you continuing to call me harrassing me about bringing you the truck right now within the hour knowing I am at the police dept. taking care of legitimate business. I was finally told to take the truck to Arnolds truck stop at hWy 43/72 after I got my belongings off so I communicated with them across the qualcomm is this the location you want me to put this truck at as an agreed upon location cause I am not about to be had for abandoning no truck . when I was in route taking the truck there i communicated across the qualcomm again that I was taking it where they told me too and I asked where did they want me to leave the keys i was told to leave them on the oil dipstick which I did. My comdata card had already been blocked by Terry Swinney holding my pay that I had already been paid and keeping me from getting my current weeks pay so I asked for my pay to be settled up asap. When I called payroll to find out if I was showing terminated in their system yet I was told as of 9-19-08 i was still showing active just my card was blocked by Terry Swinney so I asked could they unblock it and I was told I had to go through him so I called him and had my sister talk as me for me so i didnt lose my cool bout my money since I was at this mans mercy, however he started asking her things she was not aware of or knew what to say and gave me the phone but he assumed he was talking to me the whole time. He did tell me that morning he would go ahead and unblock my card long enough to get my check off but when I called that evening to find out why it still was showing blocked he told me he was charging me for abandoning the vehicle and it took all but $25.00 of my check and from there i snapped because I had communicatede that clearly to them that I was not going to be charged for abandoning there vehicle so they needed to tell me exactly where they wanted me to bring it . For those of you who dont know what that means if youa re charged for abandoning a vehicle it goes on your dac report and no other company will touch you for it. This was my first trucking job and the first time I have ever quit so I wanted to make sure I did what they told me to in regards to cleaning it out and returning it to whereever they asked. I know of several drivers that they have told to park it somewhere else that were not charged for abandonment and I just wasnt going to let them get away with this so I went back to where I parked it and took it to the police department to have them document what they had instructed me to do with the truck and to prove I had done that cause I intend to sue if I have to to get my money and compensation for any problems or stress created to me as a result of them not giving me my money timely. I did see an attorney concerning the matter and am awaiting her return of my phone call to help me resolve this isssue however, I am also seeking to make other drivers aware that the money they have been taking out of our pay without prior notification or warning might be grounds for a class action lawsuit for the return of this money and to make the covenant drivers aware that I learned after I quit that over 600 drivers are being routed to the home terminal to be questioned about tampering with the truck to reduce their idle time where they will not be charged and if you lie and say you havent tampered with it you will be terminated however if you tell the truth you will get to keep your job. I was told that out of 60 drivers pulled in only 3 have kept their jobs. How can an employer seek to fire people for being dishonest for something like that when they just take what they want from their money with out telling them do you call that an honest practice to just take peoples pay they have earned without telling them when or why knowing alot of us dont get home weekly or access our settlement checks on line? That is ### and I feel if enough people stand up to them about it we may be able to stop it and get reimbursed our money back for anything that was taken without us being notified of the misconduct or violation properly or what messures we can take beforehand to have prevented it. if anyone reads this that has been a victim and is willing to step forward please contact me at [protected]@yahoo.com for further information. I am seeking to make this problem a class action and the only way that can be done is if enough people come forward to voice their complaint. i have a real problem with people that uses the name of God to hide behind and punish other people for their misgivings when they are guilty of the same conduct. I am a firm believer of what goes around comes back around and the do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I cant see how they can come up with a formula on how much idling is confortable for us drivers when for 1 they go home to a home everynight that probably has a centeral unit in it that goes on and off on its on as suppose to us having to interrupt our sleep to keep turning our trucks on and off. And for 2) everyones body temperature is not the same so how can you tell me how much or how little will make me comfortable. Just because you are cold doesnt mean I am and the same goes for warmth you could be comfortable ina pair of shorts jogging in the winter where I may need on several layers of clothes just to step outside for 10 seconds so i am just curios to know how they came up with how much is fair and comfortable before we see a charge for it. It used to be 35% is where they wanted your idle time at or your truck would be turned down to 60 then they set it at 30% and turned your truck down anyway but did they give us another .01 raise for making us work harder? No they divised a new pay package that you automatic go to if you leave your current division that cost you another .01 cents when they are already one of the lowest paying large truckload carriers out there. They are already giving damn near the lowest pay but to top it all off how do they feel they can give the pay they do then take money from you too. I am not saying we should just let a company absorb all the cost but at the same time how can we take all the losses too when we not getting much gain? I am hoping this will enlighten someone who is not aware of the problems that exist there and at the same time encourage someone else to speak up who are aware of it cause that is the only way to stop it. Covenant new slogan is we committ to C.A.R.E. How can you say you commit to that when if you cared why wasn't I given the miles I needed to close on my home? Other drivers on this account are getting there and some that i know I have a beter service record than they do? How can you say you respect me when you lied on me like I abandoned your vehicle and you stole from me? The only thing Excellent to Covenant is they continue to gain while their employees continue to lose. they slogan ought to be we commit to T.Y.D.P. (taking your damn paychecks).