Teamsters Warn FAA Amendment Could Overturn State, Local Trucking Laws

Measure Offered by Rep. Denham Would Jeopardize Wages, Roadway Safety

A Message from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

This week, the US House of Representatives will consider legislation to reauthorize funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The trucking industry is trying to hijack that bill. They want to insert language which takes away almost any protection truck drivers are granted under state law. This includes destroying the right to paid sick leave, paid vacations, FMLA, state guarantees of a lunch or rest break during a shift, and worse.

This amendment is an expanded version of the policy rider to preempt state meal and rest break laws that we have successfully fought off numerous times over the past few years. The same people are behind it, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA-10) is again leading the effort, and supporters of the amendment are pushing hard to get it done.

This proposed language is a loser for hardworking truckers all across the country. It represents an enormous overreach by the federal government and would overrule decades of court precedents confirming that truck drivers are entitled to basic workplace protections, paid sick days, and to be properly classified as employees.

Jim Hoffa
Teamsters General President

The House cannot include this anti-safety, anti-worker provision in the FAA bill. This provision would overturn any state’s law that goes above the bare minimum federal rules for truck drivers. No state could demand that drivers need to get paid for non-driving time, or take action against companies who misclassify their drivers as independent contractors. Any state laws that raise wages or protect the working conditions of drivers would immediately be overturned. It refers to these state laws as “additional burdens” being placed on motor carriers, and say that they need to be done away with. States couldn’t even give drivers time off to go vote! What’s worse, all these changes are made retroactive to 1994. All of the progress we’ve made over the past two decades would evaporate overnight.

We expect the amendment to be called up for a floor vote sometime on Thursday or Friday.

We are asking all Teamster members to reach out to their Congresspersons (Democrat and Republican) and urge a no vote on the Denham amendment when it comes to the floor.