FMCSA files petition on California rest and meal break rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration quickly published for public comment a petition filed by the American Trucking Associations that would have the agency preempt the state of California from enforcing its rest break and meal break rules for interstate truck drivers. California requires employers to give workers a paid 10-minute rest break near the middle of each 4 hours worked and an unpaid 30-minute meal break for every 5 hours worked. California believes its regulations apply to all truck drivers operating in the state regardless if they must also obey federal hours-of-service rules or if their home terminal may be located in another state. Many motor carriers with California facilities have already acquiesced to following these rules. Some out-of-state truckers report being sued by independent contractors for not being given and paid for rest breaks when in the state. The trucking industry firmly believes FMCSA has the power to preempt California’s rules just like another USDOT agency, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, did recently for hazmat drivers.