Truck Driver Labor Laws

If you’re a trucker, your day-to-day work is difficult enough. The last thing you need is to be taken advantage of by your employer. Unfortunately, we see many cases where truckers don’t receive the compensation they are owed, are denied proper rest breaks, or face other mistreatment. 

Federal and state labor laws are supposed to protect employees from mistreatment and wage theft. However, while labor laws are straightforward in many industries, they can be complicated for transportation workers. Knowing the law can help you protect your rights, and then you’ll have the necessary information if you need to seek help.

Here are some trucker labor issues you should know about. 

Are You Really an Independent Contractor? 

Many states have different laws when it comes to defining employees and independent contractors. Employees are often recipients of more rights and benefits: to avoid fulfilling those legal obligations, employers will sometimes try to classify employees as independent contractors instead. 

This is not just a technical distinction; it can have a big impact on workers. The biggest difference between the two classifications is that independent contractors often don’t get overtime pay. 

A trucker who’s classified as an independent contractor may be misclassified and therefore eligible for compensation if any of the following apply: 

  • They only work for one employer 
  • They must accept a designated rate per load, with no ability to negotiate 
  • They drive an employer-provided truck 
  • They cannot refuse loads 
  • They have insurance, maintenance, or lease payments directly deducted from their paycheck

Depending on the laws in your particular state, an independent contractor trucker dealing with any of the above may be misclassified and have grounds for a lawsuit. 

Are You Getting Paid for Loading/Unloading/Delay Time?

Truckers traditionally are paid by the mile. However, that doesn’t always account for time spent loading, unloading, and waiting out a traffic or weather delay. The extra uncompensated time could mean some truckers receive less than the minimum wage. 

There have been a wave of lawsuits centered on this issue, including a class-action lawsuit against an Arkansas trucking company in 2016. The company ended up settling for $16.5 million. 

Trucker-focused minimum wage laws have been changing across the country. 

Get the Help You Need 

If you are a trucker and believe that you are being taken advantage of, we’re here for you. Morgan & Morgan employment law attorneys can help fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. 

No one deserves to be taken advantage of and mistreated by their employer, and no one should take on this fight alone. With Morgan & Morgan, you’ll never have to pay any upfront costs, so no matter your financial situation, you can have a great Morgan & Morgan attorney at your side. 

We have recovered more than $9 billion for our clients to date, and we’ve fought and won against some of the largest corporations in America on behalf of clients just like you. We fight for the people, not the powerful. So don’t wait; call today for your free consultation

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