The Truckers’ Rights Experts
Whether you’re an over-the-road trucker who spends days on the nation’s highways or a short-haul driver picking up and delivering loads locally, you have a right to demand that your vehicle is safe and that you’re not forced to drive excessive hours.
Federal law protects your right to voice your concerns without fear of retaliation.
Whistleblower laws protect you if you need to blow the whistle on an unsafe or illegal workplace. These laws say you may not be punished for bringing to light unsafe or illegal work conditions.
Buckley Bala Wilson Mew’s team of trucking law specialists is on hand to help guarantee your rights to a safe workplace, even if that workplace is an 18-wheeler that you often call home.
Know Your Rights
Trucking is a heavily regulated industry, and regardless of whether you’re a long-haul driver or making local deliveries the weight and size of your truck determines whether you’re covered by the STAA, whose provisions are in turn subject to enforcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) is one of the main tools for protecting truckers’ rights. The act guarantees that truck drivers and operators may not be punished for speaking up about safety concerns, onerous work requirements including demands that they drive in bad weather or for longer hours than those allowed under the law.
Driver concerns can run the gamut from being asked to drive trucks with faulty brakes, windshield wipers or headlights, or being disciplined or even blacklisted for insisting on compliance with federal standards.
In addition to posing a hazard to truckers and other motorists, being forced to drive an unsafe rig can also expose the driver to personal liability if there’s an accident.
It’s important to raise your concerns and document them carefully, since many such disputes wind up being handled by administrative law judges, in procedures that resemble mini-court trials in which each side can present evidence and interview witnesses.
Trucking companies and owners may try to shift blame to drivers, claiming that they’re simply making excuses for poor job performance instead of acknowledging that shoddy equipment is the cause for late deliveries and breakdowns, so it’s important to file complaints in a timely manner.
When you need exceptional advocacy, call (404) 781-1100 today or request your case evaluation online.
Whistleblowers and Civil Rights
Sometimes truckers are also targeted for unfair treatment in violation of their protections against discrimination based upon age, race, sex or sexual orientation under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. In this case, truckers may need to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Again, it is a violation of federal law for anyone raising such claims to be targeted for retaliation, with available penalties including job restoration and restitution, fines and – in extreme cases – even jail time for the employer.
*If you’ve been pressured to work hours in excess of federal standards or to drive a truck you don’t think is safe, call Buckley Bala Wilson Mew at 404-781-1100 or contact us online at buckleybeal.com to schedule a review of your case. When it comes to protecting your rights, Buckley Bala Wilson Mew delivers!
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