TIA Issues Statement in the Wake of TQL Overtime Ruling

TQL faces legal heat for unpaid overtime; TIA clarifies its guidance role amidst misinterpretation.

TIA Issues Statement in the Wake of TQL Overtime Ruling
Image Source: TIA | Anne Reinke/LinkedIn

The logistics industry recently witnessed a significant ruling where Cincinnati's Total Quality Logistics (TQL) was found in violation of wage laws. A federal judge in this 13-year-long class-action lawsuit deemed that TQL must compensate thousands of its former employees for unpaid overtime, dating from 2008 to 2016. The contention was rooted in TQL's classification of many of its freight brokers as “exempt” employees. Consequently, these employees were seen as low-level managers not eligible for overtime pay.

The Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) says original reports seem to incorrectly imply that their organization played a consequential role in how TQL categorized and compensated its workforce. To set the record straight, TIA's President and CEO, Anne Reinke, issued a formal statement in response to reports.

She stressed:

  • TIA’s Role: TQL cited its quarter-century-old involvement with TIA, not to assert they relied on TIA’s legal advice, but to showcase a "good faith" defense.
  • Clarification: TIA offers broad guidance, which shouldn’t be perceived as the exclusive influence in any member's operational decisions.

Read Anne Reinke's full statement below:

I would like to address the recent coverage of the TQL court decision in which TIA was referenced. Your article discussing the case created a misperception that TIA's guidance on labor issues played a determinative role in how TQL classified and paid its employees.

TQL cited its involvement with TIA over twenty-five (25) years ago in order to establish a defense of "good faith" to recovery of a specific type of damages known as “liquidated damages.”  TQL never claimed that it received or relied upon legal advice from TIA.  Rather, TQL merely argued that it acted in good faith by conforming to what it understood to be industry practices by virtue of its involvement with TIA in 1997.

It is essential to separate this distinction from the narrative presented in your article. The article has left readers with the false impression that TIA's guidance was somehow actionable, that TQL relied upon TIA for legal advice, and that we were otherwise at the core of the misclassification issue -- this is not an accurate representation of our involvement or the nature of the case.

TIA provides general, high-level guidance and support to its members on numerous issues affecting the industry. However, it is crucial to emphasize that our general guidance should not be misconstrued as the sole determining factor in any member's operational decisions. Our members know this. Each member, including TQL, is responsible for its own compliance and legal obligations.  TQL does not dispute this.

We remain committed to providing valuable guidance and resources to our members while ensuring a clear understanding of the limitations and responsibilities associated with such guidance. We appreciate your understanding and encourage a fair and accurate representation of our role in this matter.

If you have any further questions or require additional clarification on this issue, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to FreightCaviar.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.