Bill to exempt small carriers from ELD mandate filed in U.S. House

A bill to allow very small carriers — those with 10 or fewer trucks — to forgo use of electronic logging devices and return to using paper logs has been filed in the U.S. House. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) introduced the legislation, H.R. 1697, this month into the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bill, dubbed the Small Carrier Electronic Logging Device Exemption Act, would exempt all carriers with 10 trucks or fewer from the ELD mandate, meaning they could revert back to using paper logs to record duty status. Read more

Supreme Court declines to hear California Trucking Association’s case over driver classification test

The U.S. Supreme Court has elected not to hear an appeal from the California Trucking Association against Julie Su, commissioner of the California Department of Labor Relations, over how the state determines whether a truck driver is a company employee or an independent contractor. CTA’s lawsuit sought to have the courts declare that the 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (aka FAAA or F4A) pre-empt the state’s so-called Borello test, which Su had been using to determine whether a driver was a company employee or an independent contractor in cases involving questions  about drivers’ classification. Read more

Port carriers to pay $6M to settle allegations of misclassification

The California Labor Commissioner recently awarded nearly $6 million to 24 drivers who sued their carriers claiming they were misclassified as contractors.  The late-December judgments came against companies now owned by National Freight Industries (NFI). On Dec. 28, Hearing Officer Melanie Do determined CCX2931, formerly known as California Cartage Express, owed 14 drivers more than $3.7 million. She also held Jim Degraw, the company’s operations and general manager, jointly responsible for violating California’s wage-and-hour laws. Reportedly, this is the first use of a 2016 state law extending liability to the company executives responsible for wage theft. Read more

Has your fleet adjusted driver pay to account for per diem law change?

As detailed in a report last week on CCJ, some carriers are considering — or have already implemented — altered pay packages for drivers to help make up for the loss of the per diem deduction tax benefit to company drivers. To help offset the change, fleets are adding per diem reimbursements to drivers’ pay, which are mostly tax free earnings to drivers. They also provide a tax benefit to fleets, too. Read more