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COMPLICATED Truck Driver Ma. ?s

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  • COMPLICATED Truck Driver Ma. ?s

    Hoping someone can provide some assistance or resources on this complicated topic: My husband is an interstate truck driver, who makes daily deliveries for a company throughout the region and as such, is not governed by any over-time laws. However, I can find no resources that indicate what sort of labor laws, aside from DOT HOS regulations, his employer is governed by. His pay rate is complicated and includes mileage pay, stop pay, trip pay and detention pay.
    My questions are this:
    1. His "detention pay", which is set at an hourly rate, doesn't begin until a stop has lasted in excess of 45 min. and then only the time over and above 45 minutes is calculated,ie: if he is at a customer unloading for 1 hour, he will only get paid 15 min. of det. time. If he moves the truck from one loading dock to another, the company now claims this "resets" the clock, so if he sits for 45 minutes at one dock, and moves to another for ANY reason, he must sit another 45 minutes before his time is counted. Is it legal for him to be obligated to work 45 minutes of every hour for free? The company hand-out he was given when hired states he will get paid for time in excess of 45 min. at a customer OR in the customer's yard, which up until recently was how it was but now they've changed the rules without informing anyone, and claim its always been this way even though this is NOT how anyone was getting paid until last week.
    2. Up until last pay period, he was given flat-rate "stop pay" for every stop, which including moving the truck from one dock to the next at the same customer, for purposes of loading or unloading (ie: he is at dock 1 to unload and moves to dock 2 to re-load, this would be 2 stops). The company now claims that this is, and always has been ONE stop, but again, this is not how ANYONE has gotten paid, and now, as above, they have decided that not only will they not pay for two stops, but moving the truck at all resets the detention time clock. They did not inform anyone of this until last week when another employee questioned why he was shorted.
    3. He gets paid mileage for trips on a varying rate (depending on where he is driving). Is he entitled to pay for activities that are required by the company but are not actually driving or related to the safe operation of the vehicle, such as untarping/unloading by hand, fueling the truck, etc? He has not been paid for these activities, yet he is required to perform them.
    4. He gets an hourly rate for detention time in the company yard (for example, if he arrives and must wait for his load to be readied). However, the hourly rate that he is paid for this and other det. time is NOT the hourly rate that appears on his payslip. His paycheck lists a random hourly wage, one which he is not and never had been, paid, and one which is well below what he actually earns (as he is NOT paid by the hour). This is the only wage/rate information on his paycheck - there are no tallied hours/miles/stops, etc. directly on the check, just this erroneous hourly wage and the amount of pay and deductions. My concern is this: should he become injured on the job and require worker's comp, the company will claim that this is the rate of pay that he is earning, even though it is not. He has nothing further in writing that demonstrates his actual rate of pay. So, if the WC insurance co calculated his rate of pay based on what is listed as his hourly pay on his check, he would be up the creek, having nothing else in writing to demonstrate his pay. Additionally, the hourly wage listed on the check is actually higher than the hourly wage he is paid for detention time. I would mention that the employees are given a seperate sheet, which is just a computer printout without company heading, listing all the pay details (mileage, stops, etc) but this does NOT appear on the paycheck.
    Attempts by my husband's new supervisor (his former sup. just sat on her thumbs and lied about "taking care of it"), and by my husband, to get the company to clarify their pay policies in writing have been ignored, as have attempts to collect missing pay due to inaccuracies in calculations (efforts in excess of 4 months have been ignored). This is a large corporation, and my husband's check is routinely short small amounts - $10-$20 weekly, and thus far, they refuse to address this problem - he has been given lip service for months, all the way up the ladder. I maintain that $10-$20 weekly per employee translates into BIG savings by the corporation and the pay scale is so complex that few people catch it, and when they do, it's ignored by the payroll department, whose most current answer is "we don't pay for that", even though they have consistently "paid for that" up until the errors were questioned. This company is nationwide with thousands of employees and hundreds of drivers, so even $5 a week X 100 drivers represents a substantial savings by the company annually, so I can't consider it accidental, especially considering their attempts to evade the issue.
    Are they obligated to put their very complicated pay rates in writing so that these employees know exactly what they are getting paid for? Are they obligated to accurately reflect the rate of pay on the payslips? Is there a penalty for putting inaccurate and false information on the payslip (ie: the incorrect hourly wage). Additionally, they are taking out 38% in taxes, and refuse to address this issue, as well as the incorrect dispersment of taxes (they are taking out too much federal and not enough state taxes). Communicating with these people is like beating your head against the wall...

    If anyone has any information, resources or advice, I would be most grateful. Please don't refer me to the DOL, as they have still not processed a complaint filed with them in APRIL, so their methods of resolution are quite obviously not going to be quick enough to be of use here.

    Many thanks

  • #2
    I wish other than going to the DOL, that I knew of any other options, I don't know. You may want to recontact the DOL, and ask them what the status is of the investigation. I do truely feel, that if he is working, he should be paid for his time! I know that truck driving pay is very complicated compared to just working for a company per hour, period. I don't understand why they can say that 45 minutes of work does not have to be paid, no matter how they word it. I know that some truck drivers just get paid mileage, and per load, no hours involved. There are laws that say how many hours a driver must drive, and then, by law, he must park the truck and get some rest. I have heard of truck drivers getting tickets, if they do not do this, it is to unsafe for them to drive to many hours without sleep. This is all I know, and I know it is not much, but please, do call the DOL, just to see what the status of the investigation is, it may refresh thier memories on this case. I am also aware, other than a legally binding contract agreement, that if you are paid per hour, your employer may not change the hourly rate on hours allready worked, so finding out that there was a pay decrease when he recieved his check, sounds illegal. Please wait for further assistance!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by turbowray View Post
      I wish other than going to the DOL, that I knew of any other options, I don't know. You may want to recontact the DOL, and ask them what the status is of the investigation.

      Actually, the DOL investigation is in regard to his previous employer, who paid by the hour, but only for 40 hours, no matter how many hours were worked, and who also failed to pay prevailing wage for jobs that were supposed to be prevailing wage. In addition, he regularly put non-union drivers on union jobs, collected the union rate, but only paid his drivers their regular hourly pay. When we last heard from the DOL, they were something like 4 months behind in their investigations, but did confirm they had multiple complaints about this employer. At any rate, with a track record like that, it certainly does not seem worthwhile to bother filing another complaint with them, since they haven't gotten around to the first one yet, and it would do nothing to rectify the immediate problem.


      <<I do truely feel, that if he is working, he should be paid for his time! I know that truck driving pay is very complicated compared to just working for a company per hour, period. I don't understand why they can say that 45 minutes of work does not have to be paid, no matter how they word it. I know that some truck drivers just get paid mileage, and per load, no hours involved. >>>

      This seems to be the general problem with trucking companies - there are very few laws regarding how they must fairly pay their employees, so it seems as though the business attracts sleazeballs who will stick it to the driver in any way they can. What is truly amazing to me is that the government seems to view this as OK, and puts truck drivers into a class all by themselves by exempting them from any fair labor standards.


      <<There are laws that say how many hours a driver must drive, and then, by law, he must park the truck and get some rest. I have heard of truck drivers getting tickets, if they do not do this, it is to unsafe for them to drive to many hours without sleep. This is all I know, and I know it is not much, but please, do call the DOL, just to see what the status of the investigation is, it may refresh thier memories on this case. >>>

      The hours of operation do not really impact the work that has to be done once the truck is parked (ie: filling out logs and paperwork, etc.) since this is viewed as hours "out of service". With this company, once the truck is in the yard, you are no longer getting paid, no matter what you're doing. While they do pay detention time if the driver has to wait for his load in the morning, they don't pay anything if the driver has to spend an hour filling out paperwork when he completes his route.


      <<I am also aware, other than a legally binding contract agreement, that if you are paid per hour, your employer may not change the hourly rate on hours allready worked, so finding out that there was a pay decrease when he recieved his check, sounds illegal. Please wait for further assistance!
      The "interesting" thing is that the individual in payroll claims that "its always been this way" when a simple look at the payslips of all the drivers plainly indicates that it has NOT been this way. My personal thought on it is that the woman in charge of payroll has simply changed the rules to excuse and cover up the perpetual mistakes she makes in calculating their pay.

      I am sure there is some argument to be made for what the drivers were verbally told when hired, and after, by their supervisor (ie: my husband was informed, for example, that for hand-unloading a load, which they are not ordinarily required to do, they get extra pay, yet when it happened, he did not get extra pay - he got nothing at all for his trouble, even though he supposedly hauls "no touch freight".)

      Additionally, perhaps someone has the answer for this: my husband sustained an injury on the job. He was ORDERED both verbally and in writing, in the form of a note from his supervisor, to park his truck and seek medical treatment, even when he insisted he did not need medical treatment. He was told it was company policy and that he HAD to go. His supervisor drove him to the hospital personally, where he then spent 4 hours waiting for and receiving treatment. The company now refuses to pay him for these hours, and I maintain they are obligated to as they insisted he obtain treatment because it was company policy, ie: he was ordered to go. So, he lost the rest of the day in pay, since he was unable to complete his route, and spent 4 hours at the hospital on their order, and was not compensated for it. The payroll person insists this is a worker's comp issue - obviously, he isn't going to be compensated by worker's comp for the 4 hours spent at the hospital, but isn't the company obligated to pay him for this time, since it was them who ORDERED (not recommended or requested) he go?

      ::shrug:: I am convinced that the trucking industry, but virtue of having no regulations to protect employees, takes complete advantage of the drivers who work for them, and apparently they will do so until the end of time, since the federal government obviously doesn't care at all.

      Comment

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