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California, Teamsters Appeal Denial of Truckers’ Breaks

February 17, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—California and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have both asked federalteamters courts to reverse a federal agency’s voiding of state rules requiring rest and meal breaks for truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ruled last December that the state regulation, which mandated a 30-minute break after five hours of driving, could not be enforced for interstate truckers because they are pre-empted by federal regulations that say the break should come after eight hours. FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez said the California rules “not only pose a safety risk, but also lead to a loss in productivity and ultimately hurt American consumers.” The American Trucking Associations trade group had asked the agency to void them. “Highway safety for Teamster members and the public must never be put at risk just so that transportation corporations can eke out a little more profit,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. The union filed its challenge to the FMCSA’s decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Feb. 6, and the state followed the next day. “It is well within a state’s rights to establish standards for the welfare of our workers,” said state Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Read more

February 17, 2019

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