The newest legislative battle over truck driving is taking place in New York. As states across the country struggle to reclassify parcel drivers and drayage truck operators, lawmakers in New York are trying to lump owner-operators in with employee drivers. The differences between the two truck driving jobs are not clear to the legislators. Port operations in Washington, New Jersey and California are proposing a similar change to truck company classifications. The laws being discussed in New York would affect all owner-operators currently working in the state. Both the NY State Motor Truck Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association have spoken out against this classification change.
The director of regulatory affairs for OOIDA, Joe Rajkovacz, explained that this change would cause a wealth of problems for New York state drivers. Independent operators would have the burden of proof put on them to prove that they were not full employees of a company. Under current legislation, the state holds the burden of proof when it comes to tax disputes for truck driving jobs. The New York State Motor Truck Association is trying to warn drivers that the bill may strip away their ability to work as a independent contractor is they are engaged in the same activities as trucking companies.
Issues found with the legal codes surrounding the construction industry in the state sparked the reclassification focus. Unfortunately, the problem the law is attempting to fix is not a real issue in the trucking industry. The research that discovered misclassification issues in New York did not investigate truck driving jobs, but only looked at problems within the construction field. The organizations against the bill say that this is an inappropriate way to change classifications within their industry.
The country-wide push to reclassify owner-operators is coming after the American Trucking Association won a lawsuit in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The association won... Continue reading...