A new report published by the Drum Major Institute claims to illustrate widespread abuse through the misclassification of employees in the truck transportation industry. The New York Motor Truck Association, however, says this report is just a tool the Teamsters Union is using
to push for a bill that would supposedly keep trucking companies from wrongly misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
The report states that, "18% of all truck drivers in New York State are considered misclassified, representing 29,500 drivers. These drivers must endure the worst of both worlds: They lack the protections afforded to payroll employees and do not enjoy the benefits of being truly independent."
New York Motor Truck begs to differ.
"From what we can tell, there is a history between the Drum Major Institute and the union," says NYSMTA President Kendra Adams. "The data they use is highly questionable. The two surveys they use is an apples-and-oranges comparison. One is a completely random survey of households; the other is a completely random survey of businesses. To try and compare the two, to me, is irresponsible."
The association has been battling the Commercial Goods Transportation Industry Fair Play Act since it was introduced in January. The legislation ( introduced in the Senate as bill number S6267 and the Assembly as bill number 8997) would essentially eliminate the owner-operator business model in the state, says the association. It would also, says Adams, likely push trucking jobs to other states.
Currently the bill is sitting in the Assembly and Senate labor committees and will likely see some attention now that the state budget is complete. Until now, NYSMTA's priority has been to stop the current legislation from moving forward, but Adams says with the release of the Drum Major report, NYSMTA would like to introduce its own legislation in the near future.
"We understand the need for clarity when it comes to the definition of an independent contractor and the definition of an employee," she says. Adams says NYSMTA wants to introduce legislation to make it easier for carriers to know what they can or cannot do and comply more easily when being audited.
To read the Commercial Goods Transportation Industry Fair Play Act legislation, click here. To read the Drum Major Institute's Report, click here.
New York Motor Truck Says 'Fair Play Act' Anything But, 2/27/2012
New Jersey Bill Would Make Owner-Operators Employees, 3/2/2012
Owner-Operators: Today's New Breed