The ELD Mandate on driver harassment and driver coercion

The New Year has arrived with a bang Ð and, with it, the countdown to December 2017, when commercial motor carriers will be required by law to have implemented Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs).

There is a lot to be said about the ELD Mandate Final Rule, which was published in December 2015. But weÕd like to address a less-discussed, but important, topic: ELD technical requirements for dissuading driver harassment and driver coercion, and what that means for your fleet.

What is driver harassment?

Driver harassment means an action by a motor carrier towards a driver employed by the motor carrier (including an independent contractor) involving the use of information available through an ELD that the motor carrier knew, or should have known, would result in the driver violating Hours of Service (HOS) requirements.

What is driver coercion?

Driver coercion is defined as when a motor carrier, shipper, receiver or transportation intermediary threatens to withhold work from, take employment action against, or punish a driver for refusing to operate in violation of certain provisions. An example of this would be terminating a driverÕs employment for refusing to accept a load that would require him to violate HOS requirements.

Technical requirements to prevent harassment and coercion

To protect drivers from incidents of driver harassment and driver coercion, the FMCSA has included various technical requirements in the Final Rule, one being for ELD devices to prompt drivers for certain things whenever they log on. These are:

  1. Unassigned mileage. The ELD must track all miles associated with the vehicle and display any mileage not assigned to a driver. When logging on, a driver must be prompted with the choice to accept the unassigned mileage and associated hours. If the driver accepts, the system should then automatically add those hours to the driverÕs Record of Duty Status (RODS).
  2. Edits to logs. Under the ELD Mandate, drivers are responsible for their own RODS and will therefore need to be able to edit their own logs on a device. If a manager or supervisor edits a driverÕs logs, the ELD device must prompt the driver for confirmation of these changes Ð the driver can then accept or reject.
  3. Confirm logs. Drivers must be prompted to confirm their logs when they log in and out of the ELD device. If the driver has any logs that are not confirmed, the ELD must prompt the driver to verify the information.


The bottom line

As the deadline for compliance draws nearer, fleet operators need to be paying specific attention to these technical requirements and make sure that any ELD vendors they are considering are properly equipped to handle these requirements. While these requirements may seem to be minor to some, they play a critical role in protecting drivers and ensuring all-around compliance.