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December 2016

Posted By John Hausladen, Thursday, December 1, 2016
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2017

Court is in Session! — In my two decades of serving the trucking industry, I have never seen courts playing a more active role in the affairs of our members. Litigation at all levels is playing a major role clarifying issues and redefining legislative priorities.

E-Logs 99 Percent a Done Deal — The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Owner- Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) on the issue of electronic logging devices (ELDs). The ruling upholds the Final Rule on ELDs that was originally published in December 2015 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This ruling means that most professional truck drivers currently required to use paper logs to track their hours-of-service compliance must transition to an ELD by December 18, 2017.

While OOIDA has the option to ultimately appeal the ruling to the United States Supreme Court, the odds of that happening appear low.

We understand there are many carriers who have not yet made the switch to ELDs. To assist in the decision-making process we are developing a resource guide. Look for that to come soon. We also expect to have a session at our Trucking Management Conference on April 20, 2017 focused on the realities of working with shippers in a world where everyone has ELDs.

No Appeal in Biodiesel Litigation — After conferring with our co-plaintiffs, the decision was made to not appeal the ruling in our lawsuit against the State of Minnesota regarding the biodiesel mandate. We appreciate the work our members undertook to provide data and affadivits for our effort. The board of directors will now consider what legislative actions, if any, the organization will undertake as we approach the 20 percent mandate in 2018.

Taking on City of Minneapolis — The MTA has supported the lawsuit filed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce on October 14 against the city of Minneapolis.

The action, filed in Hennepin County District Court, challenges the Minneapolis paid sick time ordinance as unlawful on the grounds that it conflicts with existing state law. The action also asks a judge to prevent Minneapolis from enforcing the ordinance (see page 12 for details).

We believe this ordinance will create tracking and reporting nightmares for motor carriers and create new legal liabilities. The MTA is particularly concerned this ordinance could be interpreted to include not only motor carriers who deliver or pick up in the city of Minneapolis, but even those who pass through.

We are also very concerned that allowing the Minneapolis ordinance to stand will lead to more cities doing the same, creating a patchwork of local laws that companies need to interpret and obey. The city of St. Paul also has enacted a paid sick time ordinance to take effect July 1, 2017 and Duluth is studying the issue.

Merry Christmas — Here is wishing you a Merry Christmas and hoping Santa judges you “nice” and not “naughty” this season!

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