GOT Truckers Act picks up another co-sponsor

May 12, 2022

Mark Schremmer

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Another lawmaker has lent support to a bill that would repeal the motor carrier overtime exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

On Wednesday, May 11, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., signed on as a co-sponsor to the Guaranteeing Overtime for Truckers Act, or HR7517.

Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., introduced the bipartisan bill in April, and the measure now has eight co-sponsors.

The Fair Labor Standards Act went into effect in 1938, mandating time-and-a-half overtime pay when an employee works more than 40 hours a week. However, it also included an overtime exemption for motor carriers.

HR7517, which simply amends the FLSA to remove the exemption, aims to ensure that truck drivers are fairly compensated for all of the hours they work.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which advocated for the bill, said the original design of the exemption was to prevent truckers from working too many hours. The reality, the Association says, is that the “outdated law” prevents truckers from receiving fair compensation.

“We know that for too long, too many people throughout the supply chain have placed little or no value on a driver’s time,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said. “This is partly because of the FLSA overtime exemption.

The GOT Truckers Act also received support from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Institute for Safer Trucking, Parents Against Tired Truckers, and the Truck Safety Coalition.

OOIDA and the other organizations endorsing the bill say there is a connection between fair compensation and safety.

Harry Adler, principal at the Institute for Safer Trucking, called the bill a “long overdue” safety solution.

“It is clear that repealing the overtime exemption will help improve pay and fairness for our nation’s truck drivers, but we hope the public understands that this change will improve safety for everyone on our roads,” Adler said in a news release. “With almost every other industry requiring overtime pay, we welcome the news that the same could soon be true in trucking. Guaranteeing overtime pay will help retain experienced truck drivers, who are safer and much less likely to be involved in a collision.”

OOIDA encourages its members to go to FightingForTruckers.com and ask their representative to support the bill.

GOT Truckers Act co-sponsors

  • Jefferson Van Drew, R-N.J.
  • Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr., D-Ga.
  • Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y.
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.
  • Mark Pocan, D-Wis.
  • Dina Titus, D-Nev.
  • Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.
  • Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. LL
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Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.