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2013-03-16

TRUCKING: INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR STATUS UNDER ATTACK * USA

* Missouri - A major topic of consideration this year: Independent Contractors and Owner Operators status

(Photo: New Jersey Port trucks entry: NJ Legislation Targets Independent Contractors)
Green Valley,MO,USA -Land Line, by Keith Goble -15 March 2013: -- Statehouses around the country covers the employment status of independent contractors, including owner-operators ... New Jersey lawmakers are discussing legislation that would deem port truckers, including owner-operators going onto a port, to be employees... Washington state lawmakers are considering two bills to overhaul the state’s definition of independent contractors and reclassify certain port truckers as employees... Oregon, a House bill would set up a full-time position for investigating claims of misclassification of employees as independent contractors. It also spells out what actions could result in fines for employers but it doesn’t specify the amounts... Connecticut, are attempting to avoid challenges to independent contractor status... Arkansas seeks to clarify independent contractor status. Motor carriers would be required to offer workers’ compensation to independent contractors. If owner-operators choose to accept the insurance coverage it would not terminate the individual’s independent contractor status... Illinois also cover employment status... Kentucky, owner-operators are exempted from a bill halfway through the statehouse that addresses employee classification... Opponents say the changes sought in statehouses around the country to modify the employment status of independent contractors meddle with interstate commerce, which is a violation of federal pre-emption... OOIDA and more than 20 other truck and business groups joined together to oppose these bills. They say the changes sought would discourage any involvement with independent contractors... The American Trucking Associations sued the city of Los Angeles in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit several years ago over portions of its clean truck program, including an expensive concession requirement that all trucks entering the port would have to comply with... The subsequent ruling confirmed that states cannot regulate the routes, rates or services of trucks engaged in interstate commerce... The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing the case...



* DC - Feds address coercion, pressure on truckers to violate regs 

Washington,DC,USA -Land Line, by David Tanner -15 March 2013: -- The FMCSA plans to make the most of an anti-coercion provision in the current highway bill to address the pressure placed on truck drivers to violate federal regulations including hours of service... While the provision does not specifically mention detention time at the docks by name, it does address the pressures that shippers, receivers, motor carriers and brokers place on truckers to stretch operating hours or to continue driving when fatigued... Members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit questioned a panel that included Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, Anne Ferroabout the implementation of the current highway law MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century... D-Rep., Peter DeFazio, of Oregon, asked Ferro how the agency planned to address the detention of truckers at the docks... Ferro used detention time to explain the agency’s new charge to address the coercion of drivers... MAP-21 calls for a study of driver detention time. Ferro said the study should be completed in 2015, “if not sooner” ...

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