At Buckley Beal, we know a lot about safeguarding employees’ rights, whether it concerns protections from sexual, racial or age discrimination or the ability to speak up about an unsafe workplace.
Our team also is dedicated to protecting the rights – and safety – of truck drivers. We aim to ensure that the men and women who work long hours and drive endless miles to deliver the goods we all depend upon also can depend upon the law to safeguard their rights.
The truck is a workplace
When we think about employees in the workplace, we don’t tend to think about truck drivers, but their workplace is actually their truck.
It doesn’t matter if they’re long-distance, over-the-road 18-wheelers or more locally based delivery drivers; truckers are afforded considerable protection under the law.
Whether it’s somebody who’s being told to drive a truck with bad brakes or faulty windshield wipers, or is being pressured to drive more hours than the law allows, truck drivers are protected from retaliation if they complain.
Surface Transportation Assistance Act
The main tools for protecting truckers’ rights are found in the Surface Transportation Assistance Act which, among other things, 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.
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.
OSHA and EEOC
Disputes over alleged violations of STAA regulations are generally handled by administrative law judges under the auspices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.
But 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 which case they may need to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
As in other workplace disputes, it’s 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.
Protect your workplace rights
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 Beal at 404-471-3725 or contact us online at buckleybeal.com to schedule a review of your case.
When it comes to protecting your rights, Buckley Beal delivers!