For truckers who feel retaliated against for complaining of safety violations, or for keeping an honest log, you have perhaps some of the most elaborate legal protections of any people in our society — congratulations
- On the surface, you of course enjoy all of our ordinary civil rights to punish the employer who does bad things to you when you commit the “wrong” of refusing to doctor your log, or you refuse to drive an unsafe rig.
- Yeah, we have some court cases that help us here — We can take care of you using the law of “Public Policy Discharge” and maybe some other legal doctrines — That’s what I mean by “ordinary civil rights”.
- But there is something else brewing in the background —
There is an 800 pound gorilla sitting on the coffee table, just for you — 31105 — 49 USC 31105 Call it three-eleven oh five
- 31105 looks like I wrote it myself — 31105 is not some watered-down piece of chamber-of-commerce negotiated crap — 31105 has teeth for employees — It’s the real deal folks. And it’s gift-wrapped for truckers only.
- I have never seen anything like 31105, for a specific industry.
- 31105 sets up a scheme of hearings, where the US Department of Labor MUST hold a hearing, and can award damages — and you can appeal, too — The real key is the “mandatory” language in 31105 — The USDOL MUST do things — And they have the authority to even award punitive-type damages.
- For comparison, consider that in discrimination cases, the EEOC is not required to even investigate — Their laws don’t require it. No one is “entitled” to a hearing.
- 31105 is cool, and is how our employment laws should be, and you as truckers are specially protected.
Article written by | Tim Willoughby
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