The Truck Driver’s Rights: Everything You Need to Know 

truck driver on a sunny day

Truck driving is one of the most difficult occupations in the country today. On an average, truck drivers spend about 17 working hours daily. Despite the heavy work schedule and not to mention the potential road hazards, many trucking companies still violate their contracts and labor code.

The problem is that many truck drivers are not aware of their rights as employees. If you think your employer is violating any terms and agreement in your contract, it is best to look for a reputable truck labor attorney in Washington. Most of these legal professionals offer free consultation services and a no-win fee basis. Many law firms today have helped professional truck drivers from their abusive employers.

Hopefully, this guideline will help you understand your rights as an employee.

Minimum Wages

According to reports, professional truck drivers earn around $20 to $25 per hour. This is excluding performance or service bonuses, overtime pay, and other compensation indicated from the contract. As an employee, you should be familiar with the minimum wage. Take note that this may vary from state to state. Verify the information with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. File a complaint in case your employer does not comply with this requirement.

Overtime Pay

According to the Washington State Legislature, all transportation companies are required to pay their drivers for the extra work hours. Having documents or records of your daily worksheet is a big advantage. Your employer should also apply the right formula when computing your overtime work. Check your payslip for any discrepancies.

Service Incurred Injury or Illness

man driving a big truck

Many truck drivers are not aware that they can file a complaint for their employer’s liability in truck accidents and other types of incidents. This includes irregular vehicle maintenance and lack of training and supervision. In case you get involved in an accident, it is important to consult your legal counsel right away. Do not provide any statement without your lawyer’s consent.

More than Just the Compensation

The Washington Law states that truck drivers should get a 10- to 15-minute break for every four hours of work. This is regardless if you’re working on a per-mile, per-load, per-percentage basis, or any terms indicated in your contract. In addition, this break should also be compensated by the company you work for. Take note that employers cannot force their employees to work more than four hours without a break. In line with this, you should also get compensated for all the time spent working and required to do the job, including some of the non-driving hours such as pre- and post-trip inspection, meetings, fueling, and loading and unloading.

In case you’re not getting paid for this, file a complaint right away. Make sure to document everything and present it to your legal counselor. Proper documentation can make it easier for your lawyers to examine the case.

Knowing your rights as an employee is important. Before signing any document or job offer, make sure to check every item. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to raise them.

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