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Penske Takes California Break Requirement to Supreme Court

January 6, 2015

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Penske Logistics took its fight against California’s meal and rest break requirement to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The company on Tuesday petitioned the court to review a lower court’s finding that California truck drivers are entitled to paid breaks.

At issue is a California law requiring a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked and a 30-minute meal break every five hours when the driver’s work period is longer than five hours.

Penske contends that this law is preempted by a 1994 federal law that says states may not govern a carrier’s prices, routes or services.

The issue has been in court for years. In 2011 Penske won a District Court challenge but that decision was overturned last year by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Penske encourages its drivers to take rest and meal breaks, said Senior Vice President and General Counsel Michael Duff in a statement.

“This case is about federal law preempting state laws that relate to rates, routes, and services offered by trucking companies. We’re asking the Supreme Court to resolve this issue for our company and the trucking industry. The Ninth Circuit’s decision significantly impacts the entire transportation industry as well as the flow of commerce and ultimately impacts consumers.”

The case is titled Dilts et al. v. Penske Logistics LLC and Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P.

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