Big developments are ahead for the transportation industry. As I wrote last week, the 45th President is officially in office, and we here at Compli are paying close attention to the ways in which the Trump Administration will impact the Department of Transportation as well as industry regulations on levels both state and federal. In terms of the law—not to mention technology and trends—a lot is set to change between now and the end of the year.
Savvy fleet operators know that now’s the time to pay attention. To that end, I’d like to draw your attention this week to three recent news items related to truck driver qualifications, training, and classification.
Trucking Industry’s Use of Drivers as Independent Contractors Under Siege
Tiffany Hsu, contributing editor for Trucks.com, writes about a couple of recent court decisions demonstrating that federal regulators are cracking down on driver classifications. The article examines two cases—one in California, and one in Arizona—in which regulators won against a carrier and a trucking association to the tune of millions of dollars. According to the courts, drivers had been mislabeled as independent contractors when the circumstances of their jobs had, in fact, made them full-time employees. These stories should prompt carriers to examine their own employee classification practices ahead of any possible dispute.
National Training Standards for New Truck, Bus Drivers Take Effect Feb. 6
Mark your calendar: as OH&S reports, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule on training standards will take effect on February 6th. The final rule institutes minimum training standards nationwide for anyone seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license; or a hazardous materials (H), passenger (P), or school bus (S) endorsement for the first time. Your fleet will need to be in compliance by 2020, if not sooner.
FMCSA Selecting Random Carriers to Submit Driver Drug Testing Results for 2016
Speaking of the FMCSA, it’s that time of year again: Drug and Alcohol Information Survey time. According to CCJ, the agency is once again selecting a number of carriers at random to submit 2016 DOT drug testing results. On the heels of last year’s results, in which the positive test for controlled substances stayed below 1%, the agency is only testing 25% of drivers. And, moving forward, the FMCSA plans to keep things that way—unless the positive rate surpasses 1%, that is.