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

Hours regs suspended in 12 states due to winter storm

Drivers hauling heating fuel and other essential supplies in 12 midwestern and eastern states are receiving a reprieve from hours of service regulations in anticipation of the upcoming winter storm expected in the region. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Regional Emergency Declaration that includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Read more

FMCSA okays limited use of rearview camera as mirror alternative

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is inching forward with efforts to replace large truck side mirrors with a high-resolution – and more aerodynamic – rearview camera system. The FMCA closed 2018 by granting Stoneridge a five-year exemption allowing trucks to use the company’s multi-camera angle MirrorEye system as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors Read more

Teamsters ask court to reverse FMCSA’s decision on California breaks

Less than two weeks after the U.S. DOT declared that motor carriers are exempt from California’s meal and rest break laws, the Teamsters Union is already seeking a challenge in court The group filed a petition with a federal appeals court on Dec. 27 asking for a review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s decision, issued Dec. 21. FMCSA asserted that carriers do not have to provide drivers with the meal and rest breaks dictated by California’s labor code. The California laws conflict with federal hours-of-service regulations, the agency says, and therefore are superseded by federal law. The agency said that, despite being more stringent, California’s break laws do not provide greater safety benefits than federal hours regs. Read more