New Study Says Port Truck Drivers Subject to Unfair Practices

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New Study Says Port Truck Drivers Subject to Unfair Practices

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno Truck Accident Lawyer. In an effort to halt a practice that has allegedly turned port truck drivers into what is described by some as indentured servants, a group of senators urged American corporations to stop doing business with such trucking companies. The practice has been the focal point of an investigation by the USA Today Network over the past year.

The Details of the Study

The investigation of California trucking companies operating in ports found that some companies coerced drivers into renting a truck from the company in order to work. For many workers, this made it next to impossible to support their families and pay house payments, ultimately losing everything. Most of the time, the drivers work 16 – 20 hours a day and were afraid to complain since if they did they believed they would lose better routes or would be denied work altogether.

Report on Port Trucking Companies

According to the report, the trucking companies deliver goods for high-profile retailers, such as Walmart, Costco and Target. In a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing, one member asked how it was legitimate to tell drivers that as a condition of employment, you must rent your truck from the company. Hearings will continue into the practice and how the long hours of work infringe on the driver’s safety as well as that of other motorists.

Letters were written to the CEO’s of various retail giants asking them what they understood about violations of labor law by the involved trucking companies. The hope is that the CEOs will sever ties with them and turn their business over to other haulers.

New Regulations to Protect Truck Drivers

New regulations that govern trucking company protocol that are slated to go into effect in 2017 are:

  • Use of electronic logging devices (ELD)  for interstate carriers
  • Maintaining electronic log books for hours of service
  • Placement of devices that limit speed on trucks over 26,000 pounds
  • Overtime rules were to change. They were set to not allow overtime if a salaried employee made more than $47,476. However, implementation of this rule was delayed due to a lawsuit filed by 21 states challenging it. For now, the exempt level is $23,660.

Overnight Rest Breaks Are Not Being Reinstituted

An announcement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on March 9 declared that the rules requiring truck drivers to break for 34 hours once a week, including two breaks between 1:00 in the morning and 5:00 in the morning would not be reinstituted. The ruling has been suspended for the past several years. Although initiated to help prevent fatigue, critics of the ruling argued that these breaks during the early morning hours would increase truck congestion on the roadways in the morning hours. The ruling was cancelled following a study by the Department of Transportation saying that the mandate did not improve safety on the roads or help to reduce fatigue among truck drivers.

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Fresno Truck Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno truck accident lawyer. Truck accidents cause significant injury and death due to the truck’s size and weight. If a member of your family has died due to negligent acts by a truck driver or you have been injured in a truck accident, call for my friendly advice that is given free of charge at (559) 377-7676. If you are outside the area when you call, you can reach me at my toll-free number (800) 404-5400.  

I’ve practiced California injury law for more than 35 years, and I have helped numerous residents of Fresno and Northern California to obtain the compensation they deserve and need for their traumatic injury and wrongful death claims.

Previous clients leave reviews on Yelp and Google Plus. This is important if you are looking for an attorney to represent you and wish to find out more about their practice and what prior clients think. My peers also leave comments on the legal site Avvo. To see previous cases and their outcomes, go to Verdicts and Settlements.

I belong to the Million Dollar Advocates forum. All members of this group have either settled cases or won verdicts worth $1 million or more.

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/truck-yellow-cast-america-new-york-856345/

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