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The  High Cost Of Misclassification of Workers-Truckers

 

 High cost for Businesses Misclassification

California continues its aggressive moves to protect truck drivers and crack down on misclassification of workers as independent contractors.  The California Labor Commission opened 2019 by awarding 24 drivers who work at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach almost six million dollars in compensatory damages in two separate.  Additionally, the Labor Commission held the manager of the 24 drivers personally liable under California law for the damages.  The decision is major sign of California’s ongoing intent to crack down on these issues. 

State And Federal Laws Have Differing Views On  Employer Standards And Rules

Developments over the last few years in federal labor law have generated a lot of discussion and analysis. Regulations and decisions affecting joint employer liability and the definition of employees at the federal level obviously draw the attention of employers. Its easy to overlook though that each state is often free to establish their own standards and tests for determining these questions; those standards may sometimes conflict with federal law.

NJ Businesses With Independent Contractors Expecting Tightening Regulations

The classification of workers as independent contractors or employees continues to draw aggressive state action. These classifications can significantly impact a host of employment-related areas, but the reason why states involve themselves so much in these determinations often center around taxation issues. To this end, New Jersey recently updated its regulations to make it significantly harder for companies seeking an exemption from unemployment taxes to classify their workers as independent contractors, and it will have a big impact on trucking companies.

Port Trucking Providers To Share Responsibility For Labor Violations With Retail Companies

Labor issues have been causing headaches in the trucking industry for a long time.  The industry seems perpetually short of qualified drivers.  Ensuring drivers stay compliant with applicable rules on driving times and record-keeping presents a different set of challenges.  On top of that, some companies have caused problems by violating labor laws, refusing to pay labor judgments, and thus undercutting their competition.

Businesses Should Be Realistic With Non-Compete Clauses

 

Employment contracts can represent a large area of potential risk for modern businesses.  Many companies are used to thinking of their employment practices as an area where lack of diligence can lead to massive lawsuits.  Most realize that solid employment contracts  can protect them from potential lawsuits by laying out clear expectations for the employer-employee relationship and through agreements to engage in methods of alternative dispute resolution.  Still, the contracts, whether as a separate document or through the use of an employee handbook that serves as a binding contract, can lead to several potential landmines for the unwary.

Driver Interviews Can Lead To Liability After An Accident

 

In the wake of an accident, its standard for trucking companies to conduct thorough investigations of what happened. Having a clear indication of what happened can help the company manage the claims process more efficient and help the company save money in the long run. At the same time, trucking companies need to be aware that their investigations create a paper trail that can be used against them in a lawsuit. As a result, post-accident investigative processes need to be well thought out to ensure they do not accidentally damage the business.

Risk Management Is Still A Top Priority, Regardless Of Your Joint Employer Status

In September of 2017, Republicans gained a majority of seats on the National Labor Relations Board. After several months spent relatively quietly, the National Labor Relations Board overturned or reversed a host of decisions and regulations in the first few weeks of December. All the reversals focused on Obama-era policies only in place for a few years.

DOT Updates To Post-Accident Drug Testing Means That Your Company Procedures Should Update Too

 As various parts of the United States federal government move to address the growing opioid crisis, the Department of Transportation has updated its drug testing policies to include a stronger focus on testing for painkillers.  Published on November 13, 2017, the new policy went into effect on January 1, 2018.  It brings the Department of Transportation’s drug testing rules into harmony with new rules issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.  The new rules will apply to employers regulated by the Department of Transportation, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  That means trucking companies will fall under the purview of this rule change when it comes to pre-employment and post-accident drug testing.

Could Driver Pay Be The Competitive Edge That Trucking Companies Are Looking For?

The trucking industry is set for a series of big changes over the coming decades.  A lot of these changes will come from new technologies and range from more efficient and better equipped trailers to better tracking andlogging devices to fully autonomous trucks.  While many of these improved technologies have the potential to save trucking companies money, one non-technological change on the horizon may wind up costing them... and that is driver compensation.

Trucking Companies Prepare For Moving Ahead With ELD Compliance And MAP-21

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new rule requiring the use of electronic logbooks goes into effect on December 18, 2017.  The rule has inspired protests from owner-operators and was the subject of last minute attempts to secure an override in the House of Representatives despite the support of the American Trucking Association.