Bipartisan Bill Aims to Grant Overtime Pay Rights to U.S. Truck Drivers

Bipartisan lawmakers introduce a bill to provide overtime pay for 2.19 million American truck drivers, challenging motor carriers and sparking debates on industry impact.

Bipartisan Bill Aims to Grant Overtime Pay Rights to U.S. Truck Drivers
Photo by Alejandro Barba / Unsplash

Bipartisan lawmakers have introduced legislation aimed at amending current labor laws to ensure that America's truck drivers are eligible for overtime pay. Here's what you should know about the bill:

Name and Purpose: The bill, named the Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act, seeks to repeal the motor carrier exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which currently prevents truckers from claiming overtime compensation​​.

Legislative Sponsors: The act was reintroduced by a group of bipartisan senators and representatives, including Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), as well as Representatives Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02) and Mark Takano (CA-39), with additional co-sponsors​​.

Rationale and Support: Supporters of the bill argue that truck drivers, as essential workers who ensure the delivery of goods across the country, deserve fair compensation for their overtime work. This change is seen as a step towards reducing high turnover rates and addressing compensation issues in the trucking industry, which are believed to put stress on the supply chain​​.

Differing Opinions: The American Trucking Associations opposes it, citing concerns about supply chain disruption and inflation.

Industry Impact: If passed, this could profoundly impact the 2.19 million truck drivers in the U.S. by potentially increasing their wages through overtime pay, which could also affect the overall costs within the trucking industry.

Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual salary of $49,920 for truck drivers in 2022. According to the ATA, the average pay for truckload drivers was around $70,000 (before benefits) in 2021.

Source: FreightWaves

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