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What is Driver Coercion and How do I Report It?

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What is Driver Coercion and How do I Report It?

 

Coercion

Coercion occurs when a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary threatens to withhold work from, take employment action against, or punish a driver for refusing to operate in violation of certain provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) and the Federal Motor Carrier Commercial Regulations (FMCCRs).

Coercion may be found to have taken place even if a violation has not occurred. An example of coercion is when a motor carrier terminates a driver for refusing to accept a load that would require the driver to violate the hours of service requirements. The following must have occurred in order for coercion to have existed:

  • A motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary request a driver to perform a task that would result in the driver violating certain provisions of the FMCSRs, HMRs, or the FMCCRs;
  • The driver informs the motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary of the violation that would occur if the task is performed, such as driving over the hours of service limits or creating unsafe driving conditions; and
  • The motor carrier shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary make a threat or take action against the driver’s employment or work opportunities to get the driver to take the load despite the regulatory violation that would occur.

To address the problem of coercion, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) adopted the Prohibiting Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers (Coercion Rule).

The Coercion Rule explicitly prohibits motor carriers, shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries from coercing drivers to operate in violation of certain FMCSA regulations, including the drivers’ hours-of-service limits, the commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations, the associated drug and alcohol testing rules, HMRs, and some of the FMCCRs.

The Coercion Rule allows drivers to report incidents of coercion to FMCSA and authorizes FMCSA to issue penalties against motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries that have coerced drivers.

 

How ELDs Could Help With Proving Driver Coercion

Driver: What about all the Brokers/Shippers/Receivers who hold drivers for hours and the ELD on-duty time runs out. Whether loading or unloading there’s a Time Factor problem. So how does this help in either case regarding ELDs?

Well, that’s always been a problem and “fudging” paper logs was one way drivers “solved” the problem. If you are waiting in line, you will still be in “On” duty status unless you can shut off the truck and walk away to be “Off” duty.

This shouldn’t affect drive time as you must travel faster than 5mph to trigger Drive time. It will be harder to fudge some of these details but you can now “prove” to the shippers that you were actually detained and can get paid for that time if it goes over the contract timeframe.

As always, if clock runs out while at receiver and they don’t allow you to stay there to sleep, you will still run the risk of driving past hours as you find a place to sleep.

Driver:Here is an example:

  • I made an “On Time Delivery” for Ralph’s. In fact, 45 min early.
  • Now, was told I must wait, so ELD on Line #4, “on duty” as you said.
  • 7hrs later, time was used up where gone.
  • Moved into the next day, no reset yet.
  • Finally in the early morning got unloaded, ELD STILL RUNNING. Overall 15hrs gone from being detained.
  • Had to leave Ralph’s due to their policy.
  • My reset was done but lost additional hours. Why? When loading/unloading = Line #4 ON DUTY…. RIGHT?
  • Got a little detention, but lost another good load as well as time.

You are right, this situation, due to the ELD not allowing you to fudge your logs, made you lose another load and valuable time. I don’t think the situation could legally have been handled differently unless you were able to meet the conditions to record meal and other routine stops made during a work shift as off-duty time, and even then, I don’t think being at a loading dock would be considered a “Routine Stop”. The two conditions are:

  1. The driver is relieved of all duty and responsibility for the care and custody of the vehicle, its accessories, and any cargo or passengers it may be carrying.
  2. During the stop, and for the duration of the stop, the driver must be at liberty to pursue activities of his/her own choosing.

One thing you could have done is noted coercion on your logs – that the Receiver would not allow you to remain on the property after the unloading delay and running out of hours.

Under new rules regarding forcing a driver to break HOS rules, the receiver could be held liable should anything have happened while the driver was driving to find the “closest safe parking area”. If that log is audited and with the notation, the FMCSA could/should go after the Receiver and no violation would be given to the driver. If the receiver has many of these complaints/notations and caught by the FMCSA, the receiver may be fined (most likely not after one instance).

 

Filing a Coercion Complaint with FMCSA

The Coercion Rule takes effect on January 29, 2016, at that time the FMCSA will start accepting coercion complaints from drivers.  Coercion complaints must be filed within 90 days of the alleged coercion action.  When filing your complaint, please include as much supporting information as you have, such as:

  • Text messages or email exchanges between parties showing coercion attempts by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary, as well as your responses; and
  • Names of anyone who may witnessed the coercion attempt.

All coercion complaints must be in writing and can be mailed to the Division Office located in the state where the complainant is employed or filed with the National Consumer Complaint Database.

 

Alabama Division

520 Cotton Gin Road

Montgomery, AL 36117

Phone: (334) 290-4954Call: (907) 271-4068

Fax: (334) 290-4944Call: (907) 271-4069

 

Arizona Division

400 East Van Buren Street Suite 401

Phone: (602) 379-6851Call: (602) 379-6851

Fax: (602) 379-3627Call: (602) 379-3627

Phoenix, AZ 85004-2223

 

Arkansas Division

700 W. Capitol Ave

Little Rock, AR 72201

Phone: (501) 324-5050Call: (501) 324-5050

Fax: (501) 324-6562Call: (501) 324-6562

 

California Division

1325 J Street  Suite 1540

Sacramento, CA 95814-2941

Phone: (916) 930-2760Call: (916) 930-2760

Fax: (916) 930-2778Call: (916) 930-2778

 

Colorado Division

12300 West Dakota Avenue Suite 130

LAKEWOOD, CO 80228

Phone: (720) 963-3130Call: (720) 963-3130

Fax: (720) 963-3131Call: (720) 963-3131

 

Connecticut Division

628-2 Hebron Avenue Suite 302

Glastonbury, CT 06033

Phone: (860) 659-6700Call: (860) 659-6700

Fax: (860) 659-6725Call: (860) 659-6725

 

Delaware Division

1203 College Park Drive, Suite 102

Dover, Delaware 19904-8703

Phone: (302) 734-8173Call: (302) 734-8173

Fax: (302) 346-5101Call: (302) 346-5101

 

District of Columbia Division

1990 K Street, N W  Suite. 510

Phone: (202) 219-3576Call: (202) 219-3576

Fax: (202) 219-3546Call: (202) 219-3546

 

 

Florida Division

3500 Financial Plaza Suite 200

Tallahassee, FL 32312

Phone: (850) 942-9338Call: (850) 942-9338

Fax: (850) 942-9680Call: (850) 942-9680

 

Georgia Division

1745 Phoenix Boulevard Suite 380

Atlanta, GA 30349

Phone: (678) 284-5130Call: (678) 284-5130

Fax: (678) 284-5146Call: (678) 284-5146

 

Idaho Division

1387 Vinnell Way Suite 341

Boise, ID 83709

Phone: (208) 334-1842Call: (208) 334-1842

Fax: (208) 334-1046Call: (208) 334-1046

 

Illinois Division

3250 Executive Park Drive

Springfield, IL 62703-4514

Phone: (217) 492-4608Call: (217) 492-4608

Fax: (217) 492-4986Call: (217) 492-4986

 

Indiana Division

575 N. Pennsylvania St Room 261

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: (317) 226-7474Call: (317) 226-7474

Fax: (317) 226-5657Call: (317) 226-5657

 

Iowa Division

105 6th Street

Ames, IA 50010-6337

Phone: (515) 233-7400Call: (515) 233-7400

Fax: (515) 233-7494Call: (515) 233-7494

 

Kansas Division

1303 SW First American Place  Suite 200

Topeka, KS 66604-4040

Phone: (785) 271-1260Call: (785) 271-1260

Fax: (877) 547-0378Call: (877) 547-0378

 

Kentucky Division

330 West Broadway, Room 124

Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: (502) 223-6779Call: (502) 223-6779

Fax: (502) 223-6767Call: (502) 223-6767

 

Louisiana Division

5304 Flanders Drive Suite A

Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Phone: (225) 757-7640Call: (225) 757-7640

Fax: (225) 757-7636Call: (225) 757-7636

 

Maine Division

40 Western Avenue, Room 411

Augusta, ME 04330

Phone: (207) 622-8358Call: (207) 622-8358

Fax: (207) 622-8477Call: (207) 622-8477

 

Maryland Division

31 Hopkins Plaza  Suite 750

Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: (443) 703-2360

Fax: (443) 703-2374

 

Massachusetts Division

50 Mall Road  Suite 212

Burlington, MA 01803

Phone: (781) 425-3210Call: (781) 425-3210

Fax: (781) 425-3225Call: (781) 425-3225

 

Michigan Division

315 W. Allegan Room 219

Lansing, MI 48933

Phone: (517) 853-5990Call: (517) 853-5990

Fax: (517) 377-1868Call: (517) 377-1868

 

Minnesota Division

380 Jackson Street Galtier Plaza , Suite 500

St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 291-6150Call: (651) 291-6150

Fax: (651) 291-6001Call: (651) 291-6001

 

Mississippi Division

100 West Capitol St.  Suite 1049

Jackson, MS 39269

Phone: (601) 965-4219Call: (601) 965-4219

Fax: (601) 965-4674Call: (601) 965-4674

 

Missouri Division

3219 Emerald Lane  Suite 500

Phone: (573) 636-3246Call: (573) 636-3246

Fax: (573) 636-8901Call: (573) 636-8901

 

 

Montana Division

2880 Skyway Drive

Helena, MT 59602

Phone: (406) 449-5304Call: (406) 449-5304

Fax: (406) 449-5318Call: (406) 449-5318

 

Nebraska Division

100 Centennial Mall North, Room 406

Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone: (402) 437-5986Call: (402) 437-5986

Fax: (402) 437-5837Call: (402) 437-5837

 

Nevada Division

705 North Plaza Street Suite 204

Carson City, NV 89701

Phone: (775) 687-5335Call: (775) 687-5335

Fax: (775) 687-8353Call: (775) 687-8353

 

New Hampshire Division

53 Pleasant Street, Suite 3300

Concord, NH 03301

Phone: (603) 228-3112Call: (603) 228-3112

Fax: (603) 223-0390Call: (603) 223-0390

 

New Jersey Division

One Independence Way  Suite 120

Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 275-2604Call: (609) 275-2604

Fax: (609) 275-5108Call: (609) 275-5108

 

New Mexico Division

2440 Louisiana Blvd. NE  Suite 520

Albuquerque, NM 87110

Phone: (505) 346-7858Call: (505) 346-7858

Fax: (505) 346-7859Call: (505) 346-7859

 

New York Division

Leo W. O’Brien Federal Building Room 815

Clinton Avenue and N. Pearl Street

Albany, NY 12207

Phone: (518) 431-4145Call: (518) 431-4145

Fax: (518) 431-4140Call: (518) 431-4140

 

North Carolina Division

310 New Bern Avenue, Suite 468

Raleigh, NC 27601

Phone: (919) 856-4378Call: (919) 856-4378

Fax: (919) 856-4369Call: (919) 856-4369

 

 

 

 

North Dakota Division

4503 N. Coleman Street, Suite 204

Bismarck, ND 58503

Phone: (701) 250-4346Call: (701) 250-4346

Fax: (701) 250-4389Call: (701) 250-4389

 

Ohio Division

200 N High Street Room 609

Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: (614) 280-5657Call: (405) 605-6047

Fax: (614) 280-6875Call: (405) 605-6176

 

Oklahoma Division

300 North Meridian Suite 106 North

Oklahoma City, OK 73107

Phone: (405) 605-6047Call: (405) 605-6047

Fax: (405) 605-6176Call: (405) 605-6176

 

Oregon Division

530 Center Street NE, Suite 440

Salem, OR 97301-3740

Phone: (503) 399-5775Call: (503) 399-5775

Fax: (503) 316-2580Call: (503) 316-2580

 

Pennsylvania Division

215 Limekiln Road  Suite 200

New Cumberland, PA 17070

Phone: (717) 614-4060Call: (717) 614-4060

Fax: (717) 614-4066Call: (717) 614-4066

 

Rhode Island Division

20 Risho Avenue, Suite E

East Providence, RI 02914

Phone: (401) 431-6010Call: (401) 431-6010

Fax: (401) 431-6019Call: (401) 431-6019

 

South Carolina Division

1835 Assembly Street  Suite 1253

Columbia, SC 29201-2430

Phone: (803) 765-5414Call: (803) 765-5414

Fax: (803) 765-5413Call: (803) 765-5413

 

South Dakota Division

1410 E. Highway 14  Suite B

Pierre, SD 57501

Phone: (605) 224-8202Call: (605) 224-8202

Fax: (605) 224-1766Call: (605) 224-1766

 

Tennessee Division

640 Grassmere Park, Suite 111

Nashville, TN 37211

Phone: (615) 781-5781Call: (615) 781-5781

 

Texas Division

903 San Jacinto Blvd. Suite 1100

Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 916-5440Call: (512) 916-5440

Fax: (512) 916-5482Call: (512) 916-5482

 

Utah Division

310 East 4500 South, Ste. 102

Salt Lake City, UT 84107-3993

Phone: (801) 288-0360Call: (801) 288-0360

Fax: (801) 288-8867Call: (801) 288-8867

 

 

Vermont Division

87 State Street Room 305

P O Box 338

Montpelier, VT 05601

Phone: (802) 828-4480Call: (802) 828-4480

Fax: (802) 828-4581Call: (802) 828-4581

 

Virginia Division

400 N. 8th St. Suite 780

Richmond, VA 23219-4827

Phone: (804) 771-8585Call: (804) 771-8585

Fax: (804) 771-8670Call: (804) 771-8670

 

Washington Division

2424 Heritage Court, SW, Suite #302

Olympia, WA 98502-6031

Phone: (360) 753-9875Call: (360) 753-9875

Fax: (360) 753-9024Call: (360) 753-9024

 

West Virginia Division

700 Washington Street East Geary Plaza, Suite 205

Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: (304) 347-5935Call: (304) 347-5935

Fax: (304) 347-5617Call: (304) 347-5617

 

Wisconsin Division

Suite 101

Madison, WI 53719-2809

Phone: (608) 662-2010Call: (608) 662-2010

Fax: (608) 829-7540Call: (608) 829-7540

 

Wyoming Division

2617 East Lincolnway  Suite F

Cheyenne, WY 82001

Phone: (307) 772-2305Call: (307) 772-2305  Fax (307)772-2905

 

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