Following Appeal, New Prime Inc. Ordered To Pay Driver Nearly $20k In Refusal To Drive Case

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Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

Following appeal, New Prime Inc. ordered to pay driver nearly $20k in refusal to drive case

New Prime Inc, part of national fleet giant Prime Inc., has been ordered by a federal judge to pay a former driver just shy of $20,000 in back wages and damages following the driver’s 2008 firing and New Prime’s subsequent changes to his DAC report.

Judge Lystra Harris’ ruling is a continuation of a Department of Labor ruling issued last year, in which the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said New Prime had violated federal law by including “damaging and misleading information” on the driver’s Drive-A-Check pre-employment report.

OSHA’s $100,000 order, however, was knocked down by Harris, who heard the case following Prime’s appeal of the 2014 OSHA order. Lystra instead ordered in a ruling issued this month that New Prime pay the driver $9,600 in back wages and $10,000 for mental pain.

The case stems from a 2008 injury suffered by the driver. He hurt his back on the job and was prescribed pain medication that prevented him from operating a truck, according to court documents. He wasn’t able to drive again until July 2009, when he was cleared by his doctor to return to work. It was then he saw that PRime had submitted negative information about him to DAC.

Prime has the option of appealing Harris’ ruling.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

I wonder what exactly they put on his DAC...

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

I wonder what exactly they put on his DAC...

Prime Inc. has appealed OSHA ruling, $100,000 fine based on trucker's retaliation complaint

(Click the link to read the entire article)

...OSHA’s findings say the driver’s supervisor listed his truck as “abandoned” when the driver returned home to South Carolina for medical attention.

The driver said his truck was not abandoned, and that he maintained contact with his supervisor while away.

“(Prime’s) assertion that (the driver) could not be found is undermined by (the supervisor’s) statement to OSHA on May 26, 2010 that (he) knew (the driver) had returned to his home to see a doctor for his back after (the driver) made his last delivery in Norcross, Georgia on Oct. 25, 2008,” the findings say.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

I wonder what exactly they put on his DAC...

double-quotes-end.png

Prime Inc. has appealed OSHA ruling, $100,000 fine based on trucker's retaliation complaint

(Click the link to read the entire article)

...OSHA’s findings say the driver’s supervisor listed his truck as “abandoned” when the driver returned home to South Carolina for medical attention.

The driver said his truck was not abandoned, and that he maintained contact with his supervisor while away.

“(Prime’s) assertion that (the driver) could not be found is undermined by (the supervisor’s) statement to OSHA on May 26, 2010 that (he) knew (the driver) had returned to his home to see a doctor for his back after (the driver) made his last delivery in Norcross, Georgia on Oct. 25, 2008,” the findings say.

Since I have driven for Prime in the past, I can say without reservation that I think there is more to this story that is not being told. I know of several drivers who drive or have driven for Prime that had similar situations and did not have any issues when faced with this type of situation.

So again, there is more to this that what we are being told. I know for me, I had a great experience with Prime and left on very good terms. So I am going out on a limb here and say that the driver involved is possibly hiding something and not telling the whole truth....Just my opinion.

Ernie

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
So again, there is more to this that what we are being told.

I completely agree. The vague details we're being given in these articles aren't adding up. Like he says he did not abandon his truck and yet he went home but didn't return it to a terminal?

confused.gif

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

I completely agree. The vague details we're being given in these articles aren't adding up. Like he says he did not abandon his truck and yet he went home but didn't return it to a terminal?

confused.gif

If he was on meds that did not allow for him to return the truck to a terminal , then other arrangements could have been made. I know because I have been involved in similar situation. So it seems to me that there is more to this story than what has been presented (again just my opinion).

Ernie

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

The official OSHA news release has this to say:

The driver notified his supervisors in October 2008 that he sustained an on-the-job back injury and was seeking medical attention. In November, he provided documentation that the condition was serious enough to prevent him from returning to work because he had been prescribed medications that made operating a commercial motor vehicle unsafe. In July 2009, the driver's physician released him for full duty. He opted not to return to New Prime Inc. and began seeking employment elsewhere in the industry.

After being rejected for a job, the driver learned New Prime Inc. had submitted damaging and misleading information about his employment to a provider of pre-employment and drug testing screening services. The information appeared on the driver's Drive-A-Check Report, an employment history submitted by former employers in the trucking industry. The driver submitted a complaint with OSHA, alleging violation of the anti-retaliatory provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.

OSHA's Administrator said:

"Blacklisting an employee and sabotaging a worker's career is unacceptable. It can have a dangerous ripple effect if employees are compelled to drive when unwell or under medication because they are afraid they will lose their livelihood," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York, whose offices conducted the investigation. "OSHA will not tolerate employers retaliating against its employees for reporting violations, including forcing employees to operate commercial motor vehicles when doing so would be unsafe for the driver and the public."
Underlines added

So, even if the un-named driver did not operate the truck once he left his Doctor office, he was right to do so. Make believe the scenario continued: Driver calls supervisor with the news, supervisor arranges for another driver to pick up the truck. So far so good. But then the dispatch works its way through the system, and some office plankton not familiar with the problem labels it Abandoned, and it's all downhill after that.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • BMI:

    Body mass index (BMI)

    BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

    • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
    • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

    It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

    Dm:

    Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

    The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

    HOS:

    Hours Of Service

    HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

Errol,

I would agree if I didn't know better. But the driver involved was probably someone that wasn't exactly in real good standing with Prime and made things difficult whenever they could. So this was Prime's way at retaliation. Not to say it was right, but I am sure I am pretty close to the truth on this.

Ernie

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Ernie,

I agree with you. I'm not sure if lawyers get involved in these kinds of proceedings. I was a middle school school teacher before driving a truck. I've had my share of acting-out knuckleheads that talked to the principal as if they were model students just trying to learn something.

Mike H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hehehe. " office plankton"

That's good

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