Truck drivers can’t get overtime pay, according to a US law. The law is old, and was passed to meet a need when trucking was regulated. with the shortage of drivers today, shouldn’t we look at allowing overtime pay?
Doing so would probably increase some drivers’ take-home. It might also induce trucking firms to reduce the service level, on the grounds that they won’t pay the extra for overtime. That would mean we would need even more drivers to handle the loads we need to. Or cargo would not move.
Fairness to people seems to warrant allowing overtime wages for truckers. That could be a social objective we’d like to see met. It’s fair also to look at what the flow of goods might look like if overtime were paid. That is harder, because we don’t know how firms would execute on the rule as they try to handle the consigned loads. It might be better to not pay overtime and try to outsource loads to independent operators on a piecework basis.
The effect would probably include a lot more outsourcing to owner-operators. And with all the controversy today about what owner-operators are owed in terms of benefits and work rules, more controversy and confusion could erupt.
Rachel Premack Thursday, April 21, 2022Truck driver pay hurt by 84-year-old law