California Mandated Trucker Breaks Face Federal Review

December 22, 2015

Mandated Breaks

Here's some interesting trucking legislation that makes sense one way but doesn't make a whole lot of sense another way. Truckers are paid by the mile, when the wheels are rolling on the ground. On the surface, that seems fair enough, you are working and you get paid. However, taking lunch breaks or driving breaks, during the course of your drive, might also be considered working time. After all, taking breaks means you'll stay alert and be better able to do your job, and that's as integral to a truck driver as actually driving a truck.

Safety Checks, Loading and Unloading

Safety checks and both loading and unloading may also seem to be an integral part of trucking and getting paid for it. However, some states say that once the driver is off the road and the miles come to an end, so does the pay. In fact, the American Truckers Association wants to change trucking legislation so that no states grant wages for breaks, lunches, safety checks and other. This has been termed as wage theft, since all of these actions are determined to be vital to the trucking industry and the drivers, and they should be paid to get them done.

Unpaid Wage Lawsuits

Truckers have begun filing, and winning, class action lawsuits over lost wages due to the down times listed above. That time off the road is deemed critical for both health and safety, and therefore, it should be treated as working time. Lawyers are now actively seeking to represent truckers who feel that they have been cheated in wages by some of these new and pending regulations.

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