Monthly Archives:' November 2017

Ahead of ELD rule, false driver log violations rise

By: William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor, Source: JOC.com, Originally Published: 11.27.17

An 11.5 percent increase in citations for falsifying driver logs and a 14.8 percent jump in the number of drivers put out of service for falsifying logs in the last fiscal year underscore why federal regulators are mandating a switch to electronic logging devices (ELDs) on Dec. 18.

The latest roadside inspection data also show that while the number of driver roadside inspections and violations rose less than 1 percent, the number of violations that merited an out-of-service order rose 4.5 percent in fiscal 2017 to the highest level in four years.

Truck Companies Use Shell Companies and Bankruptcy to Dodge Judgments

By: Bryan M. Roberts, Stark & Stark; Source: The National Law Review; Originally Published: 11.20.17

A USA Today Network investigation revealed that some port trucking companies have used legal loopholes, shell companies, and bankruptcies to escape judgments by labor court judges. The ongoing investigation reveals that some port trucking companies serving top retailers use such tactics to take advantage of drivers.

The investigation examined California labor commissioner and court cases filed by more than 1,100 port truck drivers. Of the almost 60 companies found to have violated the law, at least 12 have avoided the judgments against them by shifting assets into new business names. Some delayed paying and filed for bankruptcy protection or pressured drivers to accept settlements.

For example, in 2015, a hearing officer for the California labor commissioner concluded that Fargo Trucking failed to pay overtime and improperly charged drivers for truck expenses, ordering Fargo to pay its drivers $8.7 million for violating state labor laws.

Keystone Pipeline Leaks More Than 200,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota

 By: Adam K. Raymond, Source: NY Mag, Originally Published: 11.16.17

The Keystone pipeline, which carries oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico, was shutdown Thursday after it leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, operator TransCanada said.

The leak was discovered at 6 a.m. Thursday on a stretch of the pipeline passing through a rural part of the state outside of Amherst. Cleanup crews are reportedly at work, and state officials say they don’t think the oil has reached any waterways or drinking water systems.

Former Coal Executive With Shoddy Safety Record Will Lead Mine Safety Agency

By: Adam K. Raymond, Source: NY Mag, Originally Published: 11.15.17

The Senate Wednesday confirmed a former coal executive with a dismal safety record to lead the government’s top agency regulating mine safety. President Trump’s nomination of David Zatezalo, former CEO of Kentucky-based Rhino Resources, was approved by a party-line vote of 52-48.

Zatezalo will bring an unconventional perspective to the Mine Health and Safety Administration (MSHA) after serving as a top executive at a company hit with two “pattern of violations” citations by the agency. That specific sanction is a rarely used tool that former MSHA head Joe Main began wielding in 2010 after the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster killed 29 people.

South Carolina to Stop Jailing Poor People for Unpaid Traffic Tickets

By: Eric Levits, Source: NY Mag, Originally Published: 11.9.17

In the United States, many municipalities rely on fines from traffic violations and other misdemeanors to fund basic government services. The upside of this means of revenue generation, from a political perspective, is that it’s invisible to most voters, and painless for rich people (who are often campaign donors).

But the policy’s downsides are considerable.

For one thing, you generally need to milk those fines from the most disempowered community in your area (any police chief who aggressively cracks down on every little misdemeanor rich, well-connected people commit won’t be in office for long). But the thing about disempowered people is, they don’t have a lot of money. So it can be a real hassle to get them to pay up. And then, if they wish to contest their fine in court, you’ve got to provide them with an attorney. Pretty soon, you’re spending more on collecting the fines than they’re even worth.