Contracts

Topic 10049 | Page 1

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Terence L.'s Comment
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if one is considered "under contract" with a company is it true that no other company can hire you?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I am not aware of that stipulation by any company but I believe it's something that could be written into a contract if a company wanted to. But here's the problem with that...

The company you're under contract with has setup the contract to recoup the money they invested in training you. Normally a company would stipulate that you'll stay for the length of the contract or you'll have to pay back a prorated amount of money. But if you weren't able to work for another company then how could you pay them back the prorated amount of tuition you owe? You couldn't obviously.

Before signing up with any companies make sure there is no provision of any sort preventing you from working elsewhere.

We've had a ton of people go through these Company-Sponsored Training Programs. Have any of you had to sign a no-compete clause or anything preventing you from going to work elsewhere?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Terence L.'s Comment
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if one is considered "under contract" with a company is it true that no other company can hire you?

thanks for the reply. I was sent home from an orientation with Swift on the second day and was told I was under contract with another company (crst) from 2012! I was thinking what does that have to do with anything. Then I was told that I was basically "owned" by crst due to this unfulfilled contract and that that crst wouldn't release me. Made no sense so instead of push the issue, I just left. Wouldn't wanna be part of a company that operates like that anyway. And I use to wonder why Swift gets a bad rap. Now I see.

Scott O.'s Comment
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if one is considered "under contract" with a company is it true that no other company can hire you?

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thanks for the reply. I was sent home from an orientation with Swift on the second day and was told I was under contract with another company (crst) from 2012! I was thinking what does that have to do with anything. Then I was told that I was basically "owned" by crst due to this unfulfilled contract and that that crst wouldn't release me. Made no sense so instead of push the issue, I just left. Wouldn't wanna be part of a company that operates like that anyway. And I use to wonder why Swift gets a bad rap. Now I see.

Crst has a non compete clause which means if another trucking company hires you crst can sue them

Scott O.'s Comment
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That's not swifts fault you didn't fulfil your contract with crst.... Pay the bill and move on

Jessica A-M's Comment
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thanks for the reply. I was sent home from an orientation with Swift on the second day and was told I was under contract with another company (crst) from 2012! I was thinking what does that have to do with anything. Then I was told that I was basically "owned" by crst due to this unfulfilled contract and that that crst wouldn't release me. Made no sense so instead of push the issue, I just left. Wouldn't wanna be part of a company that operates like that anyway. And I use to wonder why Swift gets a bad rap. Now I see.

Companies get a bad rap from people who want to blame the company for their problems like you've done here.

When you got the contract for CRST and signed it, there was a "non compete clause until contractual obligations are completed" in that contract. In the contract you signed. No trucking company is going to hire you with that in there unless they are too underfunded or lax in their background research. And Swift didn't force you to sign it.

Call CRST, you've probably gotten collection letters by now if you never paid, and ask how you can get released from the contract.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Ok here we go. I was unaware of this until now.

In an article titled, "The Ninth Circuit Expands Employer’s Right to Sue Competitors Who Hire Away Their Employees", they covered the ruling in effect here. I'll give you some highlights:

The appellate court...ruled that California law forbids hiring an employee whom the competing employer knows to be under contract with his or her present employer, even if the contract does not assure the employee of continued employment for a specified period of time.
The case involved a trucking company, CRST, which paid for its employees to receiving training in order to become truck drivers. Specifically, CRST would pay for the first two phases of training with a prospective employee and then would enter into an employment contract, at which time CRST would pay for the third phase of training. CRST’s employment contracts provided, in pertinent part that “the term of CRST’s employment of Employee under this contract shall be for a period of one (1) year…subject to termination for Due Cause by CRST prior to the end of the term…” (Id. at 3188). After the one year period, the employment became at will and could be terminated at any time by either party. (Ibid.) If an employee left CRST within the first year, they would be required to reimburse CRST $3,600 in training expenses. Conversely, if CRST terminated an employee within the first year without cause, CRST would release the employee from their obligation to reimburse CRST for the training expenses. The defendant, Werner, allegedly solicited and hired two of CRST’s employees (both of whom had completed their first month of their first year of employment), even though CRST had notified Werner several times of the terms of its employment contracts.

The advice given to companies:

New employers who hire a competitor’s employees should take extra precautions when actively recruiting employees to ensure that the prospective employee is not contractually banned from accepting the employment offer. For employers who want to prevent an employee from leaving to join a competitor, they should enter into a contract that provides for some financial consequences if the employee is terminated or severs their employment within a set period of time.

Very interesting! All these years I had never once heard of that. I knew these company-sponsored programs routinely picked up students that had been sent home from other programs. But in this case they're saying if a driver quits while under contract the company may choose to sue any competitors who try to hire that employee. Now that doesn't mean they will sue, but they might.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I was sent home from an orientation with Swift on the second day and was told I was under contract with another company (crst) from 2012! I was thinking what does that have to do with anything. Then I was told that I was basically "owned" by crst due to this unfulfilled contract and that that crst wouldn't release me. Made no sense so instead of push the issue, I just left. Wouldn't wanna be part of a company that operates like that anyway. And I use to wonder why Swift gets a bad rap. Now I see.

Seriously Terence - shame on you for acting like you've done nothing wrong and Swift is the bad guy. You signed a contract with CRST, you broke the contract, and years later you still haven't repaid your debts. Now you're going around bad-mouthing Swift for being a bad company????? Well I'm bad-mouthing you for clogging up our forum with your misinformation, failing to fulfill your obligations, and failing to take responsibility for causing these companies so much grief. And you're lucky Swift doesn't come after you to reimburse them for the cost of recruiting, transporting, and housing you.

Folks, this is why you don't waste your time scouring the web looking for "reviews" of trucking companies by people in forums and you never listen to just one side of a story.

Geesh!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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We had another driver a couple of weeks ago - Tazzy - who berated Old School and myself when we suggested he fulfill his contract with Swift instead of leaving for PTL. Well he started a conversation about his experiences at PTL orientation but only gave an update on day 1 and then disappeared. That was two weeks ago and he hasn't been heard from since. In that conversation he said:

I have read the contract thoroughly. It only states that this is a loan, the weekly payment and where to mail the payment to if direct deposit isn't chosen as the payment method. What it doesn't say is that I am contracted to drive for Swift for any period of time, unless I want to be reimbursed for the cost of tuition, which would require 3 years, 1 year paying them $75.00/week for the cost of tuition (which is the loan amount) and then two years of them reimbursing me $37.50/week to pay for the schooling. That's quite a long commitment for a $3900 loan............ With that being said, I have every intention on paying the loan back whether Swift is where I end up or if I end up with someone else.

So Tazzy was clearly under the impression that Swift was acting merely as a bank giving him a loan and not as a trucking company who was paying for his training so he could drive for them. So I'm really hoping we hear from Tazzy so we know he was able to pull this off. We don't want others following in his footsteps and having it end badly. But it's an ominous sign that he was so eager to keep everyone updated about how wrong we were and then disappeared.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jessica A-M's Comment
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Brett, I think Tazzy's situation might be different. It depends on Swift's contract.

An example from my current job contract. In the professional security business with national large security companies, non compete clauses are popular. My last company and my current company had non compete clauses. The clause was even on a separate page all its own detailing that I can only perform security for X company and I had to sign and date it. But, I've also worked for two smaller security companies and they didn't have those clauses. Size doesn't matter in concerns with CRST and Swift for trucking but, it sounds like Swift doesn't have one.

I assume CRST has one because it's either stay and work or you're screwed until you pay, assuring that the driver can't get a second job or a different job as long as they owe CRST something or work for CRST. This way it's more desirable to complete the obligation for CRST. I assume once the owed amount is paid, the contract would be complete.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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