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UPDATED: Freight broker TQL faces lawsuit, backlash after data breach

A lawsuit charges that Total Quality Logistics, LLC BB #:203922 Cincinnati, had a massive data breach that has allegedly harmed thousands of people.

The company is also dealing with backlash from layoffs due to lost business during the pandemic.

The lawsuit was filed last month on behalf of two trucking companies, but it seeks class action status, according to a story on Cincinnati.com.

TQL notified carriers in February about the data breach, and Tom Millikin, corporate communications manager of TQL, told FreightWaves the data breach was not a malware or ransomware attack.

“Fortunately, we can confirm our systems have been thoroughly vetted and we can tell you any vulnerabilities that were attacked have been repaired,” TQL said in a statement to FreightWaves. “Our systems were put through vigorous penetration testing by our IT teams and we continue to work with an expert cybersecurity firm to ensure there are no additional vulnerabilities.”

This week, FreightWaves interviewed several former employees, who estimate as many as 700 were let go as the company began to deal with business disruptions due to COVID-19.

Some former employees charged that many were let go because TQL didn’t have the technological bandwidth to accommodate employees working remotely.

Another transportation media company, freightbrokerlive.com, also talked to former employees who made the same bandwidth charge and said not only were they not given severance packages, they also have non-compete, non-solicitation, and/or confidentiality agreements that forbid them from working for competitors to TQL.

Millikin told Blue Book April 10 that those FreightWaves articles have many inaccuracies.

“We terminated some employees last month for underperformance,” he said. “No other internal or external factors played a part in those decisions, and those employee separations were not part of any company reduction in force program. In fact, we’re actively hiring right now.”

“Our business is fully operational, and we’re working hard every day to meet our customers’ shipping needs, deliver critical loads during these uncertain times, and help keep our economy running.”

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services