Professional Truck Drivers, do you know your rights granted by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act?
The STAA is a federal law administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the US Department of Labor to protect commercial vehicle drivers from retaliatory action by carriers if they refuse to drive due to safety concerns.
This is a MYTH: "My Company Does Not Allow Me To Turn Down Loads!"
This is a FACT: Section 405 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (STAA) (49 U.S.C. 31105) states, in part, that no person shall discharge, discipline, or in any manner discriminate against an employee with respect to the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment for refusing to operate a vehicle when such operation constitutes a violation of any Federal rule, regulation, standard, or order applicable to Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) safety.
This is a FACT: No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver's ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle. However, in a case of grave emergency where the hazard to occupants of the commercial motor vehicle or other users of the highway would be increased by compliance with this section, the driver may continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle to the nearest place at which that hazard is removed.
This is a FACT: Your employer may be found to have violated the STAA if your protected activity was a contributing factor in it's decision to take adverse action against you. Such actions may include:
Firing or laying off
Denying overtime or promotion
Failing to hire or rehire
Reassignment affecting promotion prospects
Reducing pay or hours
This is EVIDENCE: Worker fired for not driving while ill, filed whistleblower complaint.
This is MORE EVIDENCE: OSHA is ordering the Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based company to reinstate the driver, pay him more than $276,000 in back wages and damages and take other corrective action.
This is EVEN MORE EVIDENCE: OSHA orders Brindi Trailer Sales and Services Inc. and Robert Urbina Brindi to pay $45K. All the truck driver wanted was a safe vehicle to operate. His employer fired him instead.
This is the BOTTOM LINE: If you refuse to violate any Hours of Service Rules, refuse to operate a commercial vehicle while violating Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations, refuse to operate a commercial vehicle because you do not feel safe, or refuse to operate a commercial vehicle because you are ill, you are protected from retaliation by the trucking company.
This is the Truckers Trip Planning App!
The Truckers Trip Planning App was built with the precedence of seeing up front if you have the hours of service to run a load, whether you can legally deliver that load on time, and whether or not that load is profitable before accepting the load and planning the route. Better yet, The Truckers Trip Planning App was built to keep you both safe and profitable while taking control of your time and demanding to be the Captain of Your Own Ship!