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ELDs and Driver Harassment or Coercion
3 mins read

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) feels that the new Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate will help address harassment or coercion of drivers by motor carriers to operate beyond their regulated hours.

What is the difference between driver coercion and harassment?

In terms of the FMCSA’s definition, harassment refers to hours-of-service violations only. Coercion is not limited to hours-of-service and may pertain to a broad scope of FMCSA regulations. We’ll discuss coercion more in a later post.  Or, you can read more about the differences here:   https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/what-are-differences-between-harassment-and-coercion

Examples of driver harassment

The following are examples of actions committed by the motor carrier that would be considered driver harassment:

  • Interruption of a driver’s off-duty time
  • Asking a driver to manipulate log hours in order to get more work time
  • Asking a driver to delay a break
  • Editing a driver’s log to get more work time
  • Providing an unrealistic arrival time to a driver
  • Requiring wait times between loads for more than two hours without pay

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/2015%20TRB%20ART%20-%20ELDs%20and%20Driver%20Harassment.pdf

How will the ELD mandate alleviate driver harassment?

According to the FMCSA, ELDs will prevent driver harassment in the following ways:

  • It carries a “mute” function in order to ensure a driver is not interrupted while in the sleeper berth
  • It provides a process for drivers to file written complaints
  • It includes anti-tampering mechanisms such as:
    • Limited ability for motor carriers or drivers to edit records
    • When an edit is made, driver certification is needed to indicate the accuracy of the edit
    • Preservation of original data even if a record is edited

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/how-does-eld-rule-address-harassment-drivers-using-elds

What steps should a driver take when being harassed?

A driver should file a written complaint through the National Consumer Complaint Database at https://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/nccdb/home.aspx or with his or her state FMCSA administrator.

Questions or concerns? Leave them in the comments section below!


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