Connecticut truckers welcome owner-operator law

| July 17, 2013

A new Connecticut law dealing with independent contractor status is being embraced by owner-operator advocates.

On Oct. 1, owner-operators in the state working solely for one company become exempt from Connecticut’s unemployment law. Current law regards these truckers leased to one carrier as employees of that company.

The Motor Transport Association of Connecticut and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association supported the measure.

Connecticut owner-operators will still have to meet all three requirements of standard “ABC Test” to qualify for the exemption:

  • They must be free from the employer’s control and direction
  • Perform a service outside the employer’s usual course of business or outside of all the employer’s places or businesses and
  • Be customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as the service being performed for the employer.

Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy signed HB 6151 June 24 after lawmakers unanimously approved the measure.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has not indicated if he if he will sign a bill that would bar owner-operators from drayage and parcel delivery service.

Opponents and supporters of the Truck Operator Independent Contractor Act have speculated a veto from the Republican governor, who is campaigning for a second term.

The legislation creates the presumption of an employer-employee relationship in the drayage trucking and parcel delivery industry. If signed into law, trucking companies considered in violation could be fined $100-$1,000 and receive administrative penalties of up to $2,500 for a first violation and up to $5,000 for each subsequent violation.

On May 30, the state Senate voted 21-17 for the bill after the Assembly cleared it with a 43-30 vote.

  • ilovdieselsmoke

    if the teamsters can’t get that passed they’ll go back after the O/Op’s with their labor funded environmentalist buddies just like what they already plan doing at the nations fourth largest port in savannah,ga.. It’s the “California clean truck campaign” fiasco all over again in the east with the same goal to get rid of the O/O except it won’t stop just at the port.. it will include all truckers.. they hope to break O/Op’s by forcing us to install expensive worthless DPF systems or in their eyes better yet, enforcing a stupid age limit scraping perfectly good older trucks & forcing us to purchase new tractors which they know isn’t an option for 98% of O/Op’s. it’s all about wiping out our independent trucker status which puts a crimp in unionizing the entire workforce without having to spend extra time * money to deal with driver ownership… actually much of their upper leadership hates driver ownership or any union members ownership of their tools of the trade. it makes us not so dependent on them or they feel as loyal!!!!!

  • MMarsh

    After being with the corrupt teamsters for 16 years, I would say you are right on the money there, with the exception of the last part about driver ownership. Just like the government they only care about one thing now, and that is the dollar. As long as they are getting your protection money they couldn’t care less, they have pretended for years to care about this and that only because it all leads to more organizing and more money.
    Between unions and the government we are dealing with a bunch of control freaks, they proved that with twix, they proved that with the CDL, just to get more money.
    That fiasco in California to get people to buy new trucks, when you buy a new truck who are you taking care of? Union people is the answer.
    Nothing is about safety anymore, it is about generating dollars, and for them to say different, they are liars.

  • Tom T

    In the late seventies or early eighties and O/O stood up at a town hall meeting in front of Jimmy Carter and declared and argued for de-regulation which A.G. Kennedy wanted because he hated Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters because they could bring the Country to a standstill. At that time everyone made a good living and some of us were actually middle class and making more money than professionals were. Airline pilots and stewards and phone operators all made good income and even O/O`s made a decent living. He signed de-regulation into law and that was the beginning of the end for working people and unions and twenty five years after that the very same O/O published an admission that he was wrong in a trucker magazine. Since then it has been a ‘race to the bottom’ for everyone and what these guys did not understand at the time was that large companies who had the money would cut rates so low that no small trucking company could survive and they also lobbied and still do today to get government regulations passed to favor their operations. In the eighties I knew of some large trucking companies that would go in and offer a shipper 6 months of free freight for a ten year contract and who wouldn`t take that. I remember running into newbies in Texas that were making .10 cents per mile and thought it was great and as having lived through it all as both an O/O and a company driver for 45 years I am here to tell
    you it will only get worse before it gets better. Good luck to all. I retired with a safe driving record.