FAQS: ON TRANSPORTATION

I own a trucking company. What can I do to protect myself against a disgruntled employee or independent contractor driver filing suit against me?

 

The key to protecting yourself and your company is implementing a system of procedures and safeguards to assure compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws, including the requirements for minimum wage and overtime, meal and rest break periods, and employee expense reimbursement. We can provide a comprehensive review of your contracts, procedures, and manuals to curb challenges to independent contractor status and claims for wage and hours violations. 

 

I am an owner-operator under a lease with a carrier that isn't paying me what I'm owed. Can I sue? 

 

You bet. (Hey, we are lawyers.) Federal regulations mandate that equipment leases between carriers and owner-operators assure that the rights of both contracting parties and the public are protected. If you have performed work for hire and have not received the compensation owed you can seek the help of the courts. Whether it's worth your time and money is a different question. The bigger picture -- for both the trucking company and the owner operator -- is to protect yourself by following the law and using well-drafted contracts. 

 

I've been using the same commercial contracts for years. Is it safe to assume, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?

 

Absolutely not. A motor carrier's agreements with shippers, brokers, owner-operators, fuel and equipment suppliers, and other businesses involve complex, ever-changing legal issues that can make or break your business. It is imperative that your contracts be reviewed for legal compliance and amended to best fit your business model. 

 

I'm up to speed on the Federal Motor Carrier Act and the DOT regulations. Anything else I need to keep an eye on?

 

Yes. The complexity of the trucking industry is breathtaking. Among the federal laws and regulations you need to comply with are the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, ERISA, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Pregnanacy Discrimination Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act. And that's just to name a few. And don't forget about your state's laws and regulations.

 

I'm a foreign born professional truck driver. Can I renew my CDL?

 

That depends. The REAL ID Act and the adoption by many states of regulatory regimes to provide drivers licences to undocumented immigrants have led to conflicting practices by state DMV offices. Contact us if you have been denied a license as a non-resident driver or have received a denial to renew your CDL due to your status or lack thereof.