WASHINGTON — A Michigan congressman has introduced legislation aimed at allowing truck drivers to receive overtime pay – something that is currently prohibited by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., announced the bill, dubbed the Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act, on Thursday.
The bill would repeal the motor carrier overtime exemption in the FLSA.
Levin said that the bill is designed so that truck drivers are fairly compensated for all of the hours they work.
“While fixing the discrepancy in existing law is long overdue in its own right to bring us one step closer to truly fair labor standards for truckers, my bill also highlights that we are at a crucial moment for the industry writ large,” Levin said in a news release.
“Truck drivers across the country face brutal working conditions marked by inadequate pay and long hours. Despite their tireless work, truck drivers do not receive overtime pay for overtime hours. As a result, the trucking industry faces an extremely high turnover rate as truckers cannot keep up with the thankless demands of their work. We all stand to benefit when truckers are paid what they’re owed.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which supports the legislation, said the original design of the exemption passed in the 1930s was to prevent truckers from working too many hours. The reality, OOIDA says, is that the “outdated law” prevents truckers from receiving fair compensation.
“We know that for too long, too many people throughout the supply chain have placed little or no value on a driver’s time,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “This is partly because of the FLSA overtime exemption.”
OOIDA said that requiring overtime for truckers will force shippers and receivers to move freight in an expedited fashion or compensate drivers for the time they are stuck at the facility.
“Shippers, receivers and carriers have never been forced to account for all the hours they keep drivers waiting since it costs them nothing to do so,” Spencer said. “By repealing the FLSA exemption, this bill would help make sure that drivers are compensated for all the hours they work. We thank Rep. Levin for finally standing up for truckers on this issue.”
The introduction of the legislation follows the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recent recommendation to eliminate the exemption to improve the supply chain.
The bill also is supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Institute for Safer Trucking, the Truck Safety Coalition, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, and Parents Against Tired Truckers.
OOIDA said the safety advocates recognize the connection between fair compensation and retaining safe and experienced drivers.
“Every second Congress allows the FLSA motor carrier exemption to exist, lives are recklessly and needlessly put at risk,” Truck Safety Coalition President Dawn King said. “I know firsthand the ultimate price that is paid by the failure to fairly compensate truck drivers for their time. We thank Rep. Levin for taking action to eliminate this lethal loophole. The GOT Truckers Act will undoubtedly save lives and substantially reduce truck crash deaths and injuries.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
I’m very happy to see that the issues facing truck drivers regarding safety, pay, overtime, and so many other things, are having legislation written to help this industry. The ‘shortage’ of drivers is exacerbated because the drivers are required to drive unsafely and wait for hours at no pay. Companies like Amazon and FedEx need to acknowledge their drivers are employees, not contract workers. I feel like I need to start tipping the drivers, and I’m going to stop using these delivery services as much as I can.
Just want to chime in on this subject. Just so we are all on the same page i do agree with this bill but most companies already paying drivers detention for time held at shippers. this bill is only for hourly positions, most are paid per mile. This administration needs to know more of our industry, so they are aware, because hourly position only make up 26 percent of truckers. As someone in this business for 33 years every Administration Federal and State fail to fix the real problem and it starts with unpaid at the docks of shippers from the top! Every Administration deflects the truth of this. The Detention should be mandated on the shippers. I agree on this bill but this just deflects what really matters and these Administrators just leave these shippers and carriers and brokers and drivers to fend for theirselves. Just a way of all the Administrators to regulate the unregulated as the norm. Again i am in no way against this Bill at all. Just a way of Deflection by our Administration and past Administrators.
Most Trucking Companies claim to pay detention pay for loading / unloading and layover pay
But in reality very very few drivers ever actually receive detention or layover pay because it is up to management discretion
I’m a 30+ year Over the road driver with 3,000,000 accident free miles
I hav worked for multiple trucking companies that all claimed to pay their drivers detention and layover
I could count the times I was actually paid on one hand
I hope it passes but I’m sure somebody’s going to get paid off not to get it through. .us truck driver seemed to be the bottom of the food chain
Has anyone taken into effect the drivers who will be abusive to this and milk the clock. How can this issue be averted. I am a trucker myself as a company driver. I believe in a honest days work for an honest days pay.
In this case, once the driver has been unloaded, he needs to leave the dock after getting all documentation. If he/she doesn’t leave, then its on them. I’m hoping this gets passed because no one should be working for free.
The truck drivers that abuse it or milk the clock would get fired just like any other hourly paid employee in any other industry
I agree with Jon’s comments above…I agree that something needs to be done. I am all for drivers getting a fair wage and getting paid for all the time they put in. I do not agree with the belief of Dawn King, “The GOT Truckers Act will undoubtedly save lives and substantially reduce truck crash deaths and injuries.” The HOS regulations do a great job of taking care of fatigued drivers and safety issues. Lets not muddle the issues….let the pay issues stand on their own merit and get the attention of the correct people to fix the issue they way it should be fixed.
thats for the employer to worry about this should be the smallest concern cuz its possible in every industry n the milkers arent appreciated by anyone especially there co-workers cuz they have to make up for the slack caused by the milker so those type of people usually dont last im a dump truck driver n it is so frustrating to me when im on a job site working for 14 hours straight with no breaks at all period no lunch n were the only ones on the jobsite not getting paid overtime nor compensated for not taking a lunch break cuz thats just expected of us!!
I am a local driver and get OT however its after 50 hours worked qhich is BS.
BECAUSE THE COMPANY I WORK FOR DOES INTERSTATE MOVEMENT.
this loop hole needs to be closed!
Overtime is overtime!!! Stop allowing sections of employment to refuse overtime pay while demanding other sections to pay overtime pay!!!
i think it could possibly make the roads safer as employers will be less likely to have employees working ot hours when they have to pay time and a half and especially if they had to pay double time after 12 hours this would lead to drivers getting more rest and employers caring more about the drivers hours working
Michael Gamez, it is over daily eight hours and being over 40 weekly hours. This is the overtime wage due and paid weekly. In Texas, the intrastate commercial truck drivers CDL Class A and Class B work an average of the 15 hours per day, it means 75 hours per week and depending on the employer, they need to work at least two Saturdays per month and being at least more 24 hours, it means 6 extra hours plus 75 weekly hours is 81 hours per week. Do you know what means? 41 hours per week not being paid for overtime wage due. It means 164 hours for OT not paid per month.
yes this is extremely frustrating n just shows how little truck drivers are appreciated n its like a slap in the face to us
Ive been a Over The Road truck driver for 30+ years with 3,000,000 accident free miles
Over The Road truck drivers are present at their assigned
work station ( The Truck ) 168 hours a week .
They are responsible for the safety and security of
Company Truck / Trailer ,Customer cargo and in compliance with all Federal ,State,County ,City munipalities
24 / 7 for weeks and months at a time
Truck driving is the 5th most dangerous job there is , with a life expectancy of 62 yrs of age
All most all trucking companies claim that they pay their drivers Detention and layover pay
In reality very very few drivers ever collect it
Unlike being paid an hourly wage
Detention ,/ Layover pay is descretionary and up to management approval
I’ve driven for many companies , I can count the times I actually received detention pay on one hand
Many drivers will claim that they do get paid ,but they are just trying to look and sound smarter than other drivers
For the dangers and sacrifice Truck driving is not worth it
The drivers that love trucking so much usually fall asleep back in the bunk watching an old worn out DVD of Smokey and the Bandit