October 2, 2018: ATA petitions DOT to exempt carriers from California break laws

The American Trucking Association is seeking relief from the Department of Transportation for truck drivers operating in California from the meal and rest break rules. According to a federal ruling in 2014, carriers must provide their drivers with a paid ten-minute rest break every four hours their employees are on duty and a thirty-minute meal break every five hours they are on duty.
It is ATAs position that the ruling is in conflict with the 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (F4A) that states any federal government regulation on trucking will supersede any state level law.
F4A also states that any state law that would alter prices, routes, or services of motor carriers are pre-empted by federal regulations. ATA feels that the HOS regulations should supersede any state law that is in conflict with or have any additional hours requirements. The agency has asked FMCSA to exempt interstate carriers from having to comply with Californias meal and rest break law. Western States Trucking Association has also petitioned FMCSA to allow carriers and drivers hauling oversized or overweight loads be exempt from the same meal and rest break law. FMCSA has not issued its decision on their request yet.
Joe Rajkovacz, director of government affairs for the Western States Trucking Association, said “What I see is $300,000 shakedowns by lawyers who get a hold of one of our members who has 15 trucks, and they end up paying that to make this go away. Walmart doesn’t get much empathy, nor J.B. Hunt or Schneider. But it’s the small businesses that are really getting screwed by this.”
Last month PHMSA issued a ruling to exempt drivers that are hauling hazardous materials or explosives from the California meal and rest break law.

ATA petitions DOT to exempt carriers from Calif. break laws, FMCSA fielding comments