Overtime for Truck Drivers Comes Down to Fairness

semi trucks on road

From Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s viewpoint, the Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act stands as a testament to the principle of equity

While many workers are entitled to overtime pay after exceeding 40 hours per week, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 currently excludes motor carriers from this requirement. Joining forces with a bipartisan initiative, Rep. Van Drew, of New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district, recently introduced the House version of the GOT Truckers Act.

“I’m a strong Republican,” said Van Drew. “I believe in Republican values, and I believe for the future of the country that we have to be strong. However, there are issues that cross barriers, and this is one of them. I welcome my Democratic colleagues on this because I think they also recognize the fairness issue. I believe in entrepreneurship. I believe in business. I believe in hard work, but I also believe in fairness. That’s the point of this bill, and that’s what I think appeals to people on both sides of the aisle.”

Both the House and Senate host versions of the GOT Truckers Act. Van Drew and Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., put forth HR6359, while Sens. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., presented S3273.

According to Van Drew, this legislation aims to acknowledge the value of a truck driver’s time. Many truckers devote 60 to 70 hours weekly without any additional compensation. Making the issue even worse, most drivers are paid by the mile, neglecting payment for job-related functions during parked periods.

“Let’s be fair,” Van Drew said. “Truckers are breaking their backs. They sincerely are what makes America move. Our country would be in a whole lot of trouble if we didn’t have truckers working for us every single day. When people don’t work hard, that’s up to them and maybe they don’t deserve to make a lot of money. But truckers do, and they deserve to be treated fairly and make a decent income.”

Backing the bill, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), an advocate for truck drivers’ rights, encourages its 150,000-plus members to reach out to their lawmakers.

“Ask your representative or senators to co-sponsor the Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act,” OOIDA wrote. “The bill would eliminate this (FLSA) exemption and help truckers be fairly compensated for all the time they work. Not only would this legislation provide overtime pay to company drivers, but it will help lift compensation for truckers across the industry.”

For a convenient way to contact your lawmaker and petition for overtime for professional drivers, visit OOIDA’s Fighting For Truckers website.



Source: Land Line