Truck drivers play an important role in the American economy. Many of these men and women own their own trucks and operate as independent contractors. The line between their right to self-govern and the authority of a Tennessee trucking company is often blurred, especially after a recent industry-wide implementation of certain types of technology.
In 2017, trucks were required to have electronic logging devices installed. These devices track how many hours a truck is in operation and how many hours a person is behind the wheel. The intent of ELDs is to prevent fatigued driving by ensuring truckers adhere to hours of service regulations as well as to prevent cheating by those inclined to break the rules.
ELDs, however, have had an adverse effect in many ways. In a way, ELDs may give trucking companies more control over truckers, which, in turn, may effect the employee classification of many of these drivers. After a point, they may no longer be independent contractors, but instead, they may actually be employees. This effects their right to contract with other companies, their ability to turn down jobs and more. However, qualifying employees do have access to certain benefits, which may include a guaranteed minimum wage and overtime pay.
All Tennessee truckers would be wise to take the time to review their status and their rights. This can help them avoid complications and issues involving wage and hour disputes. If a truck driver believes he or she is improperly classified or would like more clarification on the law, it may help to seek a case evaluation and legal counsel.