The OSH Act and the STAA: Protecting Your Rights as a Trucker

truck driver

Truck driving is a very demanding job that drivers sometimes deal with issues that may infringe on their rights as an employee. Legal assistance is necessary to stay informed with applicable laws and, hence, have ample protection as a citizen and as a worker.

A truck driver rights lawyer in Washington would normally refer to federal laws that govern the truck driving industry and look over state and local laws related to the issues involved.

There are agencies and major statutes that protect a driver’s rights, but two key laws are of most value: the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

Occupational Safety and Health Act

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) is the law that ensures workplace safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implements its provisions.

The OSHA safeguards the safety and health of workers, as well as remind employers of their responsibilities in places where truckers go and work, from warehouses to places where they deliver their goods.

While regulation does not cover self-employed truck drivers, the OSHA regulates the workplaces where those drivers deliver and receive goods. The OSHA also checks compliance requirements under applicable Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules.

Surface Transportation Assistance Act

Generally, the law requires mandatory breaks for drivers to have an ample amount of rest. Any failure is tantamount to a violation under transport laws for both the driver and the trucking company.

In cases where the employee-employer relationship is concerned, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) under the Department of Labor is the applicable law. As per this law, drivers get the protection they need from unlawful dismissal, disciplinary punishment, and discrimination.

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The law likewise covers truckers who refuse to work due to the reasonable fear of harming themselves and the public because of the vehicle’s condition.