SAN FRANCISCO — California's attorney general and the Labor Commission Office have filed a petition as part of their on-going legal challenge with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding the state's meal and rest break rules for truck drivers.
The petition, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, argues that the FMCSA's alleges that California's labor protections are preempted by federal law is incorrect, according to the California Attorney General's Office.
“It is well within a state’s rights to establish standards for the welfare of our workers,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Truck drivers, like every other person protected under California’s labor laws across hundreds of different industries, deserve adequate meal and rest breaks.”
"California takes seriously the health and welfare of truck drivers, who have a right to basic worker protections that include meal and rest breaks,” added California Labor Secretary Julie Su. “Under the George W. Bush administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had determined that these very same worker rights were not preempted by federal law.
"In this reversal, the federal government would have drivers work up to 12 hours a day without breaks. We refuse to sit back and allow workers to be treated that way in California."
According to Becerra's office, California's labor laws entitle workers to a 30-minute meal break for shifts of five or more hours and a 10-minute break per four hours of work.