Truck drivers have hard jobs. They commonly work 10- to 12-hour shifts, and must meet strict delivery deadlines, and must constantly deal with traffic and unpredictable road and weather conditions. Their meal and rest breaks are important to their safety and well-being.
California truckers are currently subject to state laws regarding meal and rest breaks. Most transportation employees in California are entitled to a 30-minute meal break every four hours, and a 10-minute break for every four hours worked.
However, some transportation companies are lobbying Congress to change that. The proposed legislation would allow truck drivers only one 30-minute meal break after working for eight hours.
Currently, states regulate trucking, including meal and rest breaks. The proposed law would move power out of states’ hands and into the federal government’s to set truck standardized driver working hours.
Supporters of the change argue that federal government regulation regarding rest breaks would put standards in place that apply no matter where a trucker is driving. Since truckers may cross multiple state lines in one day, they are subject to several different laws regarding meal and rest breaks.
Opponents say that requiring drivers to drive longer without rest breaks is unfair and dangerous. They say that fewer breaks pose a serious safety threat, and that adequate rest is critical for driver safety.
What do you think of the proposed legislation? Do you think states should maintain control – or should the federal government regulate trucking? Weigh in with your thoughts below.