| August 2014
(Continued from Page 22)
Court rules for paid meal, rest breaks
A federal appeals court ruled last month
that motor carriers are not exempt from
California state law requiring mandatory
paid breaks for workers. The ruling over-
turns one made by a lower court that had
exempted motor carriers and opens the
door for similar challenges in California
Three drivers for Penske Logistics
brought the class-action suit against the
carrier in 2008, and the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals'
decision could be the final stop,
barring a U.S. Supreme Court
decision to hear the case.
California law requires em-
ployers to give employees a paid
30-minute meal break for every
five hours on the clock and paid
10-minute breaks for every four
hours on the clock.
Plaintiffs Mickey Lee Dilts,
Ray Rios and Donny Dushaj
claimed Penske failed to ensure
drivers could take their breaks
and created an "environment
that discourages employees
from taking their meal and rest
breaks," according to documents.
Penske had argued that given
the structure of driving jobs, it
was exempt under the Federal
Aviation Administration Authori-
zation Act of 1994, which it said
pre-empts state law.
The Ninth District's three-judge
panel, however, said that Califor-
nia's break laws are "not 'related
to' defendant's prices, routes or
services, and therefore they were
not preempted by" FAAAA.
Michael Duff, Penske's senior
vice president and general
counsel, said the company was
"disappointed" and that it was
reviewing its options.
Richard Pianka, vice president
and deputy general counsel
for the American Trucking
Associations, said the decision's
ramifications could reach beyond
the state line. This would include
drivers coming into California
to work, regardless of where the
carrier is based, and challenges
could be mounted in other states
with similar rest break require-
ments, Pianka suggested.
— James Jaillet
and Kevin Jones