Lawmakers are introducing a bill that would guarantee truck driver overtime pay

Lawmakers are introducing a bill that would guarantee truck driver overtime pay

Four bipartisan lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill that would repeal current language in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 that exempts truck drivers from receiving overtime compensation.

The Truck Driver Overtime Guarantee Act, sponsored by Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA), Congressman Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), and Senator Alex Padilla (D-MA). California), supported by the International Brotherhood of Truckers, the Independent Owner-Operator Drivers Association, the Truck Safety Alliance, and the Safer Trucking Institute.

“Truck drivers have been excluded from overtime opportunities due to outdated standards,” Takano said. “The influence truck drivers have on the supply chain to supply Americans with the goods they depend on gives these workers competitive wages. In an industry with high turnover, the most logical solution is to ensure drivers are paid overtime wages.”

Removal of the exemption was included as a proposed priority action for the Department of Transport in its assessment of the supply chain of the industrial transportation base, which itself is largely based on stakeholder input undertaken amid disruptions that have exposed vulnerabilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the document cited as an action item a DOT policy recommendation “to urge Congress to eliminate the motor carrier exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the current exemption, employers are not required to pay overtime to many truck drivers.”

Chris Speer, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, noted in a statement Thursday evening that driver wages across the board rose at historic rates on an annual basis, “with the exception of yellow,” which he said “where one party refused to come to the negotiating table.” Destroyed 30 A thousand jobs.”

“This proposal is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to increase trial attorney fees. “It will depress driver pay and destroy trucking jobs by upending wage models that for 85 years have provided sustainable family wages while growing the American supply chain,” Speer added. They are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Supporting this misguided legislation is a vote for supply chain chaos and inflationary consequences for consumers. Instead of bailing out plaintiffs’ bars, lawmakers interested in actually supporting drivers could start by fixing the nationwide truck parking shortage that is costing drivers on average $5,500 in lost profits annually.

The Overtime Guarantee for Truck Drivers Act was introduced in April 2022 by Michigan Rep. Andy Levin in the House, and a companion bill in the Senate by Sen. Padilla the following September. Levine’s bill never made it out of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Padilla’s bill was stuck in the Senate in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as the magazine’s editor-in-chief Commercial Carrier Magazine. Jason is a Class I CDL holder, a graduate of the Porsche Sports Car Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Contact him at (email protected).

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