What Commercial Truckers Need to Know About the FMCSR

a truck driver talking on the phone

Unfortunately, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not cover commercial trucking drivers. Because of this, the law doesn’t require trucking companies to pay truck drivers overtime, but then usually demand drivers to work for hours on end, explains a top truck labor lawyer in Washington.

Likewise, most employers pay truck drivers by the load or mile, and not by the hour, which means that they’re not paid for loading, unloading, and waiting times.

This means that unless you have a contract specifically stating that you’d receive a flat salary for every workweek, you need to work long, hard, and fast to be really profitable.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

Due to the inherently stressful nature of driving trucks, accidents are unfortunately pretty common. As such, claims of wrongful death and personal injuries are fairly common in the trucking industry.

In order to safeguard all parties involved in such accidents, the government initiated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). This remains the only safety standard that trucking employers and drivers should follow if they want to continue operating commercial trucks.

The main goal of the FMCSR is to prevent or lower the risk of accidents, injuries and fatalities by requiring truck drivers to have a commercial motor vehicle driver’s license. It also bans those who fail to drive their trucks in a safe manner. In general, the FMCSR includes provisions for the following:

  • Drivers’ physical qualifications and work hours, including sleeper berth
  • Minimum requirements for a commercial driver’s license (necessary skills and knowledge, drug tests, federal disqualification, responsibilities of employers)
  • Minimum insurance coverage ($500,000 for each interstate carrier and $1,000,000 if it transports dangerous cargo)

Seeking Legal Help

A majority of cases that concern interstate truck drivers involve wrongful death and personal injury claims. In the event that either of these happens to you, you need to seek help from a lawyer with experience in trucking cases to help you out.

In addition, if you’re facing employment discrimination, unfair labor practices or a workplace dispute, you must likewise consult an attorney to determine legal remedies available to you.