Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Aug. 4, 2023:
Former Yellow employee sues company over failure to notify about layoffs
Yellow Corp.’s recent closure, resulting in the termination of nearly 30,000 employees, has prompted one former employee to file a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware claiming the company violated federal law by not giving employees proper notice before the layoffs.
Armando Rivera, who was a dock worker for Yellow in California and a union steward from July 1998 through July 28, 2023, filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself and other former employees of Yellow Corp. and its subsidiaries -- YRC Freight, USF Holland, New Penn Motor Express and USF Reddaway -- “who were terminated without cause as part of, or as the result of, mass layoffs or plant closings” beginning on or around July 28.
The lawsuit claims the workers “were not provided 60 days advance written notice of their terminations” by Yellow, as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act or 90 days’ notice as required by the New Jersey WARN Act.
Rivera’s lawsuit also alleges that Yellow failed to pay its employees “their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, health and life insurance premiums, accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation for 60 days following their respective terminations, and failed to provide employee benefits, including health insurance, for 60 days from and after the dates of their respective terminations.”
For all of the class action members, the lawsuit seeks 60 days of unpaid wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, accrued vacation pay, pension and 401(k) contributions and other ERISA retirement benefits that would have accompanied the then applicable employee benefit plans, had the coverage continued for the period.
For New Jersey class members, the lawsuit also seeks employee severance pay equivalent to one week of pay for each full year he or she worked, plus an additional four weeks of mandatory severance pay.
[Related: Yellow puts its 3PL business up for sale]
House bill looks to repeal driver training regs
U.S. Rep. Bob Good (R-Virginia) has reintroduced a bill that would repeal the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule. Good first introduced the bill last October in the previous Congress.
Titled the Trucking Workforce Improvement Act, the bill would repeal what Good called a “burdensome federal regulation on training for a commercial driver’s license.”
The ELDT final rule was the result of a multi-stakeholder negotiated rulemaking and largely supported by truckers. The rule was published in December 2016 and, after implementation was delayed until February 2022, established minimum training standards for new CDL applicants. Contrary to the views of Rep. Good, many working owner-operators felt the training regs didn't go far enough in specifying what training was required for prospective CDL holders before they take the skills test.
Good cited a shortage of truck drivers as a primary reason for his bill.
“The ongoing trucker shortage impedes our local farmers and manufacturers from doing business with their communities, driving prices up for consumers across the country,” he said. “With rising inflation and a job shortage thanks to Bidenflation, the last thing Americans need is more regulatory overreach from bureaucrats in Washington. My bill will remove obstacles to entry for aspiring truck drivers, enable more opportunities for well-paid jobs, and unleash the American economy.”
Good’s bill currently has 14 Republican co-sponsors.
I-96, I-75 lane closures planned this weekend
Drivers heading East on I-96 near Howell, Michigan, this weekend should plan for additional time due to a construction project.
Michigan DOT will close two of the three travel lanes of the interstate from Chilson Road to Dorr Road for concrete patching beginning at 8 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7.
MDOT advises travelers to find alternate routes.
Additionaly, if you’re planning to be on I-75 near Detroit, be aware it will be partially closed beginning tonight.
MDOT will close the interstate in each direction between U.S. 24 and Saginaw Road beginning at 9 p.m. tonight for the demolition of the Rattalee Lake Road bridge over I-75. All traffic will be detoured onto Dixie Highway. Work is expected to be completed by 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7.
Northbound I-75 will be detoured via northbound Dixie Highway (U.S. 24), Exit 93, in the village of Clarkston and continue north to I-75 in Genesee County.
Southbound I-75 traffic will be detoured in Grand Blanc Township and exit at Dixie Highway/Saginaw Road, Exit 106, continuing on Dixie Highway to I-75 in Oakland County.
[Related: Arizona I-40 pavement work under way]
Northland Insurance launches new tools for truckers
Northland Insurance, a subsidiary of the Travelers Companies, launched a telematics program, a cargo theft reporting tool, and a curated set of safety and risk mitigation resources to help its trucking customers manage their businesses.
The new offerings include:
- A telematics program that promotes safe driving habits by providing customers with real-time performance data. Customers who enroll in the program may receive either a premium discount or device subsidy.
- A cargo theft reporting feature that expedites the claim process by enabling users to report thefts directly from a mobile app to the Northland claim team and Travelers’ Special Investigation Group (SIG). Since 2011, SIG has assisted in the recovery of more than $90 million in stolen cargo.
- A set of risk management tools and resources called the Northland Innovation Network, which provides carriers with access to programs, platforms, and research to help them keep operating safely and effectively.
These new customer benefits are added to the Northland Advantage suite of products and services, which include dedicated risk control safety specialists, experienced claim professionals, and attorneys dedicated to the transportation industry.