The Denham Amendment Must be Defeated For Truckers and Their Families

UNITED STATES - MARCH 29: Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., speaks at a news conference at the house triangle with other members of the House Natural Resources Committee on energy provisions in the House Republican budget. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UNITED STATES – Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Above, is Representative Jeff Denham, Republican from Turlock California.  Recently in the House Transportation Bill which was passed November 4th 2015, Mr Denham presented an amendment, called the Denham amendment, to the bill that  if voted into the bill,  would go unrecognized by the general public, to include and affect (most importantly)  truckers.  This amendment would place truckers at a disadvantage (which they already are at today, due to trucking companies ways of operating) where they will lose any chance of being fairly compensated for the work they do.


Aashis Desai

On Allen Smith’s AskTheTrucker “Live” talk radio show that took place on Saturday, 11/14/2015 at 6:00 PM EST, Attorney Aashish Desai, of the Desai Law Firm in California, presented the facts about the Denham amendment, and what it would mean to truckers, in that it would open the doors for trucking companies, shippers, and receivers of products shipped by truck around the country, to not pay drivers for the work that they perform on a daily basis, without compensation.

This would result in leaving drivers with the only compensation they receive being the miles they make when they are on the road, along with having to modify their logs (or the companies telling the drivers not to log ALL their time on duty not driving) so that the driver can make the mileage they need, in order to have a decent paycheck.

Listen to the Denham Amendment Segment of the show here:


The Denham Amendment, written as:


At the end of subtitle D of title I of Division A, insert
the following:
SEC. ll. FEDERAL AUTHORITY.  (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 14501(c) of title 49,  United States Code, is amended –—
(1) in paragraph (1), by striking ‘‘paragraphs  (2) and (3)’’ and inserting ‘‘paragraphs (3) and (4)’’;

(2) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (5) as paragraphs (3) through (6) respectively;

(3) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:


‘‘(A) A State, political subdivision of a
State, or political authority of 2 or more States may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law prohibiting employees whose hours of service are subject to regulation by the Secretary under section 31502 from working to the full extent permitted or at such times as permitted under such section, or imposing any additional obligations on motor carriers if such employees work to the full extent or at such times as permitted under such section, including any related activities regulated under part 395 of title 49,  Code of Federal Regulations.
‘‘(B) A State, political subdivision of a State, or political authority of 2 or more States may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of  law that requires a motor carrier that compensates employees on a piece-rate basis to pay those employees separate or additional compensation, provided that the motor carrier pays the employee a total sum that when divided by the total number of hours worked during the corresponding work period is equal to or greater than the applicable hourly minimum wage of the State, political subdivision of the State, or political authority of 2 or more States.

(Which, in essence that, if this amendment goes through, will mean that there will be NO Law written, that will instruct or force any trucking or other company that utilizes trucking as it’s means of moving products from one location to another, to pay any driver for the additional work performed outside his or her main responsibility, Driving The Truck)

Todays’ truckers perform work that is not in their job description already, such as;

(1) Customer Service, where customers are interacted with on a daily basis, in an effort to maintain a good relationship so that the company maintains a customer base, and profits.

(2) Loading and unloading trucks:  Where at many shipping companies, the driver backs up to a loading dock, and is handed either a manual pallet jack, or a hand truck, and is told to stand by his truck, then a loaded pallet is brought forward for the Driver to move onto his or her truck, and properly load, taking away valuable time that the driver needs in order to make deliveries on time.  Then, when the driver arrives at many delivery points, he or she is again required to use a pallet jack, to remove the load from the truck, to the dock, for the customer to count and re-stack the load onto different pallets, unless the driver is left with performing that task.  OR, the driver may have to pick each item or package off the truck, by hand, to have it removed manually, from the truck. (Again, many trucking companies, shippers or receivers do not pay for this effort on the part of the driver)

(3) Completing paperwork necessary for the movement of the load, prior to departure, or after delivery,

(4) Completing pre-trip and post trip inspections on a daily basis,

(5) Time spent waiting at the loading docks of customers, either waiting to load or deliver. Along with the time spent waiting on their next dispatch (which could end up coming when the driver is tired, and ready to get some sleep, yet gets none, and is expected to hurry to the next location).

The list of things that drivers are expected, and often required to do, outside of their primary responsibility of driving the truck and making it to customers varies, according to the type of trucking they are into, yet the fact remains that truckers in all fields do work that they are not compensated for, yet should be.  And trucking companies will tell drivers that, “It’s a part of your job, it’s what we hired you to do.”

If the Denham Amendment makes it thru the next vote, which takes place on or before Friday 11/20/2015, without resistance, then truckers around the country, along with their families, will be so negatively affected, that many trucking companies will have Carte Blanche, in telling their driver to either do the work they are told to do, at the rate they are being paid, or to find another job, to which an in-experienced and new, younger driver will be hired to do the job instead, at a cheaper pay rate, which will be a huge benefit to the trucking companies.  This cannot, and should not take place.

So I, along with many others, are calling upon truckers and their families to act swiftly!
Call your Rep at the US Capitol Switchboard today before it’s too late at, 202-224-3121.

Remember, this Transportation bill will be voted on by 11/20/2015, so the time to act is very short, and your attention, and action to respond to this injustice is critical.



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Hal Kiah

Hal is a 20+ year OTR Veteran driver and a 12 year military police veteran. He has also served as a dispatcher and has been a trainer for new Over The Road Heavy Haul drivers. Hal has performed “FHWA” inspections (now called DOT Inspections) . He has been instrumental in the last few years, aiding and mentoring other drivers via social media and personal communications as founder of Truck Driving Career, on Facebook and has a passion and goal of seeing that drivers are respected and recognized for their efforts and sacrifices in the trucking industry, recognizing that trucking is a Lifestyle, and not just a job.