The Trucker News: Congress weighing overtime for truckers with new bill

By Staff

The Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act (GOT) has been introduced in the House and Senate this week in an effort to level the playing field and check book for truck drivers who make sacrifices in the name of supply chain.

The GOT Truckers Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to require that truckers receive overtime compensation when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The exemption was created to prevent truck drivers from being encouraged to work excessive hours. However, the opposite has happened. It is common for truck drivers to work 70 hours in a week while receiving a base pay similar to what someone would make in a 40-hour week.

Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., introduced the Senate version of the bill, while Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., introduced the GOT Truckers Act in the House. Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Mark Takano, D-Calif., also helped introduce the bill.

“America’s truck drivers are on the frontlines of our economy, enduring long hours away from home, and all too often, unpaid wait time at congested ports and warehouses. That’s because for decades, truck drivers have been excluded from overtime pay protections,” Padilla said. “If truckers are forced to wait while on the job, they should be paid. This is not just a matter of fairness; it’s a matter of public safety. Experienced truckers are safer truckers, and better compensation will help more of them stay in the profession. It’s time we guarantee overtime for truckers.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has spoken out in support of the measure.

“America’s truckers keep our nation’s economy moving, and without the hard work of these men and women, our supply chain would grind to a halt,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “Unbelievably, trucking is one of the only professions in America that is denied guaranteed overtime pay. We are way past due as a nation in valuing the sacrifices that truckers make every single day. This starts with simply paying truckers for all of the time they work.”

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