Ten truck drivers at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach were awarded $1.2 million as the state labor commissioner found their employer mistakenly considered them independent contractors instead of employees.

The ruling, which awards the drivers an average of $128,563, is the latest in the battle over classifying workers as employees versus independent contractors. K&R Transportation, now owned by NFI Industries, was ordered to pay drivers for time spent waiting to haul goods, illegal paycheck deductions, unreimbursed business expenses, meal and break premiums, and liquidated damages.

The companies, representatives of which couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, are expected to...