Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
OOIDA applauds bipartisan legislation to reverse outdated law that denies truckers overtime pay
For decades, truckers have been exempted from guaranteed overtime pay, devaluing their work and contributing to supply chain delays
Each and every day, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s truck drivers have been essential to keeping grocery shelves stocked and critical medical supplies moving across our nation’s highways. Truckers frequently work 50, 60, or even 70 hours a week to get their job done. But unbelievably, federal law denies truckers guaranteed overtime pay for all these hours they work.
To rectify this situation, Representative Andy Levin (D-MI) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act, to ensure that truckers are finally paid the overtime wages they deserve. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has long advocated for this change, and applauds Rep. Levin for standing up for America’s hard-working professional drivers.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets federal policies on minimum wage and other labor protections, currently exempts truckers from its general requirement to pay employees time-and-a-half after 40 hours in a workweek. While this exemption was originally designed to prevent truckers from working too many hours, it now actually prevents truckers from being fairly compensated for all the hours they work.
“We know that for too long, too many people throughout the supply chain have placed little or no value on a driver’s time. This is partly because of the FLSA overtime exemption,” said Todd Spencer, President & CEO of OOIDA. “Shippers, receivers and carriers have never been forced to account for all the hours that they keep drivers waiting, since it costs them nothing to do so. 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.”
In addition to compensating drivers fairly, OOIDA believes that this legislation will help to reduce supply chain delays. “If drivers are finally going to be paid for the time they spend at loading docks, that should incentivize shippers and receivers to get them loaded or unloaded and keep them moving,” Spencer continued.
The U.S. Department of Transportation also recognizes the importance of repealing this exemption which it recommended in its recent Supply Chain Assessment of the Transportation Industrial Base as a way to improve supply chain performance.
Highway safety advocates have endorsed the legislation, recognizing the connection between overtime pay and retaining safe, experienced drivers.
Harry Adler, Principal at the Institute for Safer Trucking – “Guaranteeing overtime pay will help retain experienced truck drivers, who are safer and much less likely to be involved in a collision. The Institute for Safer Trucking supports this long overdue safety solution.”
Truck Safety Coalition Dawn King, TSC President & Board Member, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) – “Every second Congress allows the FLSA Motor Carrier Exemption to exist, lives are recklessly and needlessly put at risk. 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 Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act also has the support of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.RECENT PRESS RELEASES:
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