Labor laws, both state and federal, help to protect employees from harsh actions by their employers. Truck drivers who work for a trucking company and who have been wrongfully terminated or have not been paid correctly can file a complaint with a state or federal labor agency.
Labor law attorneys for truck drivers can help explain the laws that protect truck drivers from wrongful actions by their employer, assess their circumstances and negotiate a settlement on their behalf.
What Does a Labor Law Attorney Do?
The experience and knowledge of both state and federal labor laws and anti-discrimination legislation can help a truck driver understand whether they have grounds for a complaint against their employer and how to go about addressing it.
Specific help that employment law attorneys can give employees who believe that they have been the victim of wrongful actions by their employer may include any combination of the following:
- Most employment law attorneys will provide a free consultation with an employee who has a complaint to assess whether the complaint is valid and whether the employee has enough evidence to support the complaint. Generally, labor law attorneys will have a good idea whether the case has any chance of success based on what labor laws may have been violated.
- The labor law attorney may help negotiate with the employer if there is a hearing. Usually, labor law complaints are filed with either a state or federal agency initially. Which agency is addressed may depend on the specific complaint and the size of the work force at the employee’s workplace. Hearings are often part of the process of investigation and it helps for a knowledgeable attorney to be present at the same time.
- Labor law attorneys may advise the employee to file a lawsuit if the complaint cannot be addressed satisfactorily. This is not common, but may be called for if the employee’s case is strong and evidence can be presented at the court hearing.
How Can a Labor Law Attorney Help a Truck Driver?
The most common complaints brought by a truck driver against their employer that a labor law attorney can help with include:
- Violations of discrimination laws, e.g. firing a truck driver or not paying them the correct hourly pay or overtime pay because of their age, sex, color, ethnic or religious affiliation.
- Violations of Section 405 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act. The Act was passed to protect truck drivers who faced victimization or termination of their employment because they acted as whistleblowers. A common reason why truck drivers may have reported their employer is when they believe that the truck is unsafe or has been overloaded or loaded with illegal contents.
- Wrongful termination because of an application for workers’ compensation or leave under the FMLA.
- Violations of state or federal minimum pay or overtime rates, i.e. not paid correctly.
How Do You File a Complaint?
You must have evidence of your complaint and file the complaint initially with the relevant agency. For example, cases of discrimination at work are typically filed with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC).
For cases of being victimized or terminated because of whistle blowing (e.g. when refusing to drive an unsafe truck), you would file your complaint with OSHA. Your labor law attorney can advise you on the relevant agency for the specific complaint you have.
Get in Touch With a Labor Law Attorney
Truck drivers should not have to face victimization by their employer, drive unsafe trucks or get paid less than what is legally required. It can be confusing and challenging filing a complaint against a truck company, but a labor law attorney can provide useful legal help at any stage of the complaint process.