Many truck drivers are ignorant of their rights when taking on a job, and it makes them susceptible to exploitation. A good understanding of your rights as a truck driver can help you avoid abuse when taking on a job.
Despite moving over 70 percent of the ground freight in the country, truck drivers remain the most appreciated folks in the business world. Fortunately, the upswing in the $700-billion sector is proving most critics wrong. Certified drivers can now rake northwards of $50,000 in wages each year.
If you decide to go down this road for your career, you deserve to adequate compensation for your role and service in helping your employers meet their objectives. Luckily, the government has systems in place to safeguard your welfare and ensure fair treatment in the workplace. If you need help, you can consult truck labor lawyers in Washington.
You’re entitled to unemployment benefits
You should know that your company couldn’t approve or deny you unemployment benefits. The decision is out of their hands, resting solely in the hands of the state where the company operates. You only need to get your side of the story heard in a hearing, and the company will have to comply with the outcome. Your first step is to head down to your unemployment office and file a case.
If you live in a different state than the one where the trucking company is registered, it’s in your best interest to have your case heard in your resident state. Given the tight deadlines, the company might consider settling the case than incur tens of thousands of dollars in costs.
You’re entitled to excellent working conditions
As a trucker, you’re in charge of an 80,000 pounds monster that is speeding down the highways. Despite sticking to the speed limits, one small mishap can have wreaking havoc on the roads. Therefore, you need to be vigilant when you’re behind the wheel. The law dictates that you shouldn’t drive for more than 11 hours on any given day.
Furthermore, you’re entitled to a half hour rest after being on the road for eight hours. You shouldn’t put in more than 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days. If you find that your employer doesn’t live up to these directives and wants you to do more, you have a right to decline. You should file a complaint against them as the amount to a legal violation.
You shouldn’t drive a rickety truck
In 2016, there were 4,213 fatal crashes involving large trucks in which 3,986 people, mostly other drivers, lost their lives. It’s in your best interest not to add to these statistics. Other than being an exceptional driver on the road, you need to be sure that your truck is in tiptop shape. Driving a rickety truck not only puts your career in jeopardy but also endangers your life.
A poorly maintained truck increases your chances of getting into an accient or being saddled with hefty fines. You have the right to decline driving such a truck without facing any blowback on your record. In any case, you can raise the issue with the authorities as well have your employer keep the fleet in good shape.
While many might consider driving a truck to be a lowly form of employment, it should not be a reason to exploit truck drivers. The Department of Transport has strict measures to ensure that such workers are treated with dignity and respect. Therefore, it’s crucial that you’re aware of your rights as a trucker.