Since Congress returned from the Christmas holiday recess in early January, ATA has continued to lead the charge to clarify the preemption provision of the FAA Authorization Act of 1994 (F4A) to restore the goals Congress intended when it sought national uniformity for motor carriers in the transportation of property. Following last year’s effort to address the issue in the highway bill, ATA has continued to work with industry partners and a strong coalition to educate Members of Congress and their staff through continued meetings and briefings. In these meetings, ATA has urged Congress to pursue language clarifying that existing federal law preempts two specific types of state laws that especially affect efficiency, productivity, and safety
- State break requirements that go beyond the nationally-uniform break requirements of the applicable federal regulations; and
State laws interfering with industry-standard piece-rate pay practices that conform to federal law and not only ensure employees earn as much as they would if paid by the hour at the local minimum wage, but also enable them to earn much more.
- This clarification will preserve the ability of trucking companies to provide the level of service that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has determined is consistent with safe operations and driver welfare; and that they can continue to make use of pay systems that reward efficiency and productivity.
As a result of these ongoing efforts, Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee included this clarifying language in the comprehensive FAA Reauthorization bill (H.R.4441, the AAIR Act) introduced this past Wednesday. While this legislation is in the initial stages of Congressional consideration, and has a long journey ahead before it could be signed into public law, ATA recognizes that the inclusion of the F4A provision in the House FAA Reauthorization bill is a crucial step in the advancement of this issue. We thank Chairman Shuster for including the language in the base bill and industry stakeholders for their ongoing advocacy on this issue.
It is expected that the House T&I Committee will consider the FAA Reauthorization legislation as early as next week, though nothing has been officially scheduled at this time. Moving forward, ATA will continue to work closely with members of the committee and their staff, as well as industry partners and the ATA-led coalition in championing the F4A preemption clarification.