California Leads Again With New Meal/Rest Break Legislation

Mandatory Meal and Rest Breaks in California

Mandatory Meal and Rest Breaks in California

Here’s some semi truck driver legislation that you might be interested in, particularly if you are an employee of a large trucking firm.

The Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016

You may be wondering why aviation legislation is in a trucking blog. Well, the simple fact is that, someone slipped in a provision about trucking that The Teamsters are not all that happy about. The important part is Section 611, and in this section there is a little tale to tell.

Section 611 essentially eliminates paid driver breaks, rest periods, vehicle checks and anything else that does not have to do with being behind the wheel. As long as you are driving, you are getting paid. If you stop, for virtually any reason, you are, effectively, “off the clock,” as they say.

An Example

Let’s say a freight run is calculated to take 8 hours of time. So, you are on the road and your feet cramp up. You pull over, get out of the cab and stretch for 15 minutes. You get hungry and you stop to eat, which takes another 30 minutes. A rest stop at a wayside, 15 minutes more. Going through a big city and getting stuck in rush hour, there’s 45 minutes extra right there. Driving through unfamiliar territory costs you an additional 15 minutes, so the whole trip takes 10 hours instead of 8 hours. Sorry, but according to Section 611, you are only getting paid for 8 hours of drive time.

Fairness

If you are a trucking company, this is fair. As a driver, this is not fair. However, many businesses offer paid lunch and breaks, and maybe trucking companies should be required to offer at least that.

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