Issue Background

Fair Compensation for Drivers

House Approves Denham Amendment; Next Hurdle is the Senate

April 2018 - In a vote that mostly fell along party lines, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration authorization that would threaten truck driver pay.

The so-called Denham Amendment, named for Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., would pre-empt any state laws that address compensation and benefits for drivers, such as California’s laws about meals and rest break provisions. The amendment passed by a vote of 222-19. After passing the House , the bill awaits reconciliation with the Senate version, where the Denham amendment could still be scuttled.

If Amendment No. 79 is enacted into law, motor carriers would only have to pay drivers on a piecework or per-mile basis. Gone could be any chance at pay for detention time, safety inspections, paperwork, or any other work-related tasks that do not involve racking up miles. It could also gut the ability of states to individually address these sorts of issues, according to OOIDA.

Denham has attempted to get the amendment enacted numerous times over recent years, always meeting with opposition from truck drivers concerned about the unintended consequences of the overly broad language.

Denham Amendment - Myths vs. Facts

OOIDA's Stance on Fair Pay

  • Opposes any limits to states’ ability to allow for any other driver compensation except mileage pay.
  • Supports fair-pay for drivers adhering to mandated rest breaks.
  • Supports laws protecting the health and welfare of drivers.
  • Does not want to prevent states’ ability to address critical items like payment for detention time, safety training, and medical examinations.
  • Favors DOT Rulemaking to determine the reasonable number of hours a driver may be detained without compensation.
  • Endorses initiatives protecting drivers from wage theft.

Read OOIDA's Letter to Conferees On Fair Pay Provision That Was Successfully Removed From Final Highway Bill 

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