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Federal Legislation Overtime for Truckers

Federal Legislation Overtime for Truckers

By Sandy and Stephen
Posted Nov 16th 2023 8:00AM

Introduced into both Houses of congress the Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act (GOT) to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.  Both bills would remove truckers for being exempt for getting overtime for hours worked.  In the House the bill was introduced by Rep Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) and cosponsored by Rep Mark Takano (D-CA).  In the Senate the bill was introduced by Sen Alex Padilla (D-CA) and cosponsored by Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen Edward Markey, (D-MA), Sen Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR).  Both pieces of legislation were introduced Nov 09. 2023.

If you would like to read the text of the legislation it is the same for both houses.  It is a very short read being only one page in length.   You can find it here is the Senate version:  Senate Bill Version

Sen Padilla (D-CA) commented about the legislation he was introducing:

"America’s truck drivers are on the frontlines of our economy, enduring long hours away from home, and all too often, unpaid wait time at congested ports and warehouses. That’s because, for decades, truck drivers have been excluded from overtime pay protections.  If truckers are forced to wait while on the job, they should be paid. This is not just a matter of fairness; it’s a matter of public safety. Experienced truckers are safer truckers, and better compensation will help more of them stay in the profession. It’s time we guarantee overtime for truckers.” 

Comments from major organizations one supporting and one against.

Chris Spear, President and CEO American Trucking Association (ATA) had to say:

“This proposal is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to boost trial attorneys’ fees.” “It would reduce drivers’ paychecks and decimate trucking jobs by upending the pay models that for 85 years have provided family-sustaining wages while growing the U.S. supply chain. To support this misguided legislation is a vote for supply chain chaos and the inflationary consequences for consumers. Rather than plaintiffs’ bar bailouts, lawmakers interested in actually supporting drivers could begin by fixing the nationwide truck parking shortage that costs drivers on average $5,500 in lost earnings annually.”

Todd Spencer, President of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) had to say:

“America’s truckers keep our nation’s economy moving, and without the hard work of these men and women, our supply chain would grind to a halt.” “Unbelievably, trucking is one of the only professions in America that is denied guaranteed overtime pay. We are way past due as a nation in valuing the sacrifices that truckers make every single day. This starts with simply paying truckers for all of the time they work. With this discount on a trucker’s time, ‘big trucking’ has led a race to the bottom for wages that treats truckers as expendable components rather than the professionals they are. We thank Senator Padilla and Representative Van Drew for fighting to right this wrong by guaranteeing overtime pay for truckers through the (GOT) Act. This legislation is an investment in truckers, road safety, and America.”

Also, speaking in support for the legislation.

Tami Friedrich, President of the Truck Safety Coalition says:

“The FLSA Motor Carrier Exemption needlessly puts the lives of truck drivers and all roadway users at grave risk. The notion that it is acceptable for innocent people to die to avoid paying truck drivers for all their time is un-American. I am grateful to my home state Senator, Senator Padilla for taking action to eliminate this lethal loophole. The GOT Act will undoubtedly save lives and improve roadway safety for all.” 

Harry Adler, Principal at the Institute for Safer Trucking says:

"Repealing the overtime exemption for truck drivers is not just an economic issue, but also a safety issue. Experienced drivers are essential to keeping our roads safe, but too many are leaving the industry because they are overworked and underpaid,” said. “The GOT Act would help to retain experienced truck drivers by providing them with the overtime pay they deserve. This would not only improve their quality of life, but also make our roads safer for everyone.” 

Follow House Bill H.R. 6359 here: House Bill 6359

Follow Senate Bill S. 3273 here: Senate Bill 3273

Sandy & Stephen

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