Working as a truck driver usually involves long drives and going sightseeing on the side. For some people, it can be an ideal job. For one, the thought of driving in different states every day seems like an exciting part of the job. But just like any other workers and employees, being a truck driver is not always an easy job to undertake.
Likewise, truck drivers also have rights in the workplace. A truck labor attorney in Washington can represent a truck driver in case an employer violates those rights. That said, truck drivers and even the employers should know the basic truckers’ rights to avoid legal conflicts that can damage the latter’s reputation in the business.
Basic truckers’ rights everyone should know
There are several federal laws that are created for the welfare of truck drivers. These should be known not only by the truck drivers but also by their employers as well. Among these basic truckers’ rights, everyone should know to include the following.
Some employers may push their truckers to comply with a specific task that is against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration law. If you have declined yet they still pressure you to do so, you as a trucker have the right to file a complaint against your employer.
If you fear about your safety after filing a coercion case against your employer, you may be granted the Whistleblower Protection Program courtesy of the government. Retaliation may be in the form of blackmailing, demotion, withholding work benefits, workplace harassment, or termination among a few.
Seeking DOT assistance
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) can assist truck drivers in ensuring that the right truck maintenance is met as needed. This can be your last resort in case your employer ignores your trucking concerns (e.g., flat tire, defective brakes, etc.)
Benefits and compensation
All employees, including truck drivers, should be given the right benefits and compensations. It is important to know that the state where the trucking business is situated should be strictly complied with by the employer. In other words, the employer should follow the law as dictated by their respective state.
Safety tips for truck drivers
Driving a truck requires skills to learn. It is completely different from driving a motorcycle or a sedan. That is why truck drivers are classified differently from non-professional drivers (e.g., drivers who use their cars for personal use). Here are some tips truck drivers should take note to prevent safety hazards while on the road.
1. Mobile phones and driving do not mix.
We are all reminded not to use our phones while driving, professional, and non-professional drivers alike. If you need to contact or receive a call from someone, park the truck at the roadside and then do your business there.
2. Double-check the truck’s condition before going on a long ride.
Most truck drivers drive hundreds of miles from one state to another as part of their job. For long rides, it is crucial to do meticulous inspections on the truck unit to ensure as smooth a ride as possible. Make sure to drive carefully, especially during the winter season as the roads can be slippery due to ice and snow.