December 21, 2018: California Truck Drivers Slam New Rule That Eliminates Paid Rest Breaks

On December 21, 2018, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notified California trucking companies that they are no longer required to provide paid rest and meal breaks for their drivers. In the past, drivers were compensated like an hourly employee would be in California. State labor laws require workers to receive a 30-minute meal break if their shift lasts longer than 5 hours and transportation workers are to have a 10-minute rest break every  4 hours.
David Ramsey, president of Ramsey Express Trucking, is in favor of the ruling and feels that drivers should be taking responsibility for ensuring their own safety and take breaks when they need them. He said “Before the ruling, people were getting sued when these guys didn’t take their breaks. The ruling actually helps draw the line there between frivolous lawsuits and actual lawsuits. The government in California makes it too easy to be irresponsible for yourself”
While the small fleet owners are pleased with FMCSA’s ruling, the majority of truck drivers are staunchly against it. Brent Crispen, a truck driver in Southern California, told Business Insider that the removal of paid breaks will end up costing him $5,000 a year. “I don’t know about anybody else, but this was the first ‘raise’ I’ve gotten since 2004, and now they are taking it back.” Desiree Wood, another longtime truck driver, is not happy about the ruling either. She stated “It’s really a travesty. It truly defies safety. If you really cared about safety, you would want people on the highway who are not stressed out about their pay and who are well-rested.”

Angry California truck drivers are slamming a new rule that requires them to take unpaid rest breaks, one calling the change a ‘travesty’ for safety