Posted April 22, 2020
When you feel ill, you stay home–especially now with hospitals only taking the most severe cases and doctors’ offices urging those with COVID-19 to stay away unless they need emergency services. But what happens when truck drivers classified as essential employees fall ill? What protocols exist to protect them?
You’ll be shocked to find out that at the moment, none. In a report by Business Insider, some trucking companies are encouraging their drivers to self-quarantine in the trucks instead of coming home for medical attention.
A human resources representative from Marten Transport, one of the largest trucking companies in the United States explained to one of their employees that, “If a driver is sick, many are just taking a few days in their truck to assess their health and then return to work again because it isn’t COVID-19 they are experiencing but flu, colds, allergies, etc.”
The driver involved in this case feared he had caught the novel coronavirus and wanted to return to the lot in which his car was parked. Marten refused to pay the driver for the time it would have taken him to return back to his vehicle and instead encouraged him to quarantine in the truck.
With an estimated 1.9 million truck drivers employed in the United States, there has to be a way to keep their health and wellbeing secured during this time. Some companies have already incorporated sick time and pay for their drivers to ensure they have been taken care of but many are still keeping their policies under wraps.
Medical experts have weighed in on this issue saying that while quarantining in the truck is better than being stranded on the streets, these companies should allow drivers to return home as soon as they fall ill.
Or, if distance does not allow, the companies should permit the drivers to check into hotels or motels and call for updates as time progresses to see how the employee is recovering.
Truck Drivers Seek Support
When the pandemic first came to America, many truck stops and rest points were closed, leaving thousands of drivers without any accommodations, even just shortly. Through support, many of those locations have reopened with some restrictions.
But the question remains–who will help the driver who catches COVID-19 and what rights do they have as an employee?
If you are a truck driver who needs legal advice in the face of COVID-19, do not hesitate to call us. We are working with lawyers across the country who can take your claim and bring you the justice you deserve. You protect our families, you keep our shelves stocked, medication delivered. Let us help you.
Contact us today.
Posted in Employee Rights.