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Michael
Michael, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  10 Years Experience in Business Transactions/Complex Litigation
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What is the name of the law and where can I get a copy of it

Customer Question

What is the name of the law and where can I get a copy of it that says an over the road company driver can fuel the truck when and where he or she deems necessary and the company must by Federal law reimburse the driver?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 5 years ago.

I own a trucking company and to my knowledge there is no such law. A company can specify where you can purchase fuel as part of their standard practices. If there is an emergency, you can usually contact them and get approval. You do not have the authority to make the decision on your own without prior approval from the company. Some fleets have contracts with certain providers or credit cards. They can require you to comply with the terms of that contract.

 

If I have answered your question, an accept and positive feedback is appreciated. Thanks!!!

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I disagree with you. When I was in truck driver training in 1995 the instructor specifically said there was such a law. I recall he said to write it down because we may need it someday. I didn't write it down but I do recall him talking about it but I just can't recall the name of the law. Being you own a trucking company I dont' think you would tell me if you knew what the law was. That's ok. Thanks for your time. Someday maybe I can locate Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. and he will be able to tell me.So no you do not deserve my 20 bucks. Sorry. And you sure won't get my next question. I have a feeling you are sitting at the round table of the ATA.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
While I do not own a trucking company, I checked the federal DOT regulations that apply to over the road trucking and found no such law either. There is a law of contract that states if you spend money for your employer they must reimburse you for those expenses upon proof of proper receipts, but there is no specific law in a code, which is why you have read the FMC Act and could not find it. Whenever an employee spends money for the employer, they are entitled to reimbursement. Even the DOT regulations do not say what you claim and I have been through those as well.

You have said you have read the regs and couldn't find it, the reason being is that an actual law does not exist. You are entitled to reimbursement, but is not under a specific law, it is under the contract and general rules of obligations.

I hope you found my answer helpful, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
You didn't do any better than the 1st guy. I know the law exists because I do recall the teacher that I had in truck driver training said so in 1995. When I find the answer I will write back with it. It looks like this site has lawyers that hope to be paid for telling me nothing and not doing much research.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Just delete this question because all I am getting is nothing. You can blow my 20 bucks whereever you want to because I can tell these guys are useless. They probably have the ATA in thier back pocket.
Expert:  Michael replied 5 years ago.

I happen to know a little about this topic and without trying to step on anyone's toes, I'll attempt to answer your question. Federal trucking regulation evolved around the independent contractor model to minimize costs for motor carriers. Over the years, regulations were put in place to riegn in motor carrier practices due to thrid party liability reasons. Part of these regulations are the leasing regulations. Motor carriers generally have lease arrangement with the drivers where they lease the truck. While operating under the motor carrier's authority, the driver has to keep track of miles driven within a state's border to pay fuel use tax charges. The pump price paid by driver contain a per gallon charge for state fuel taxes. Drivers keep track of fuel bought and miles driven to allow the reallocation of taxes paid. For example, a driver leaving state A after refueling and traveling to state B will have overpaid state A and underpaid state B. Thus the driver is entitled to a refund or credit of taxes paid to state A. The motor carrier or other defined operating authority entity hiring the trucker is required to keep track of this information because fuel tax credits are "escrow funds" as defined by 49 CFR 376.2(1) of the leasing regulations. 49 CFR 376.12(k)(3) &(4) provides that the lease specify and the carrier provide monthly accounting to drivers and that accounting of escrow fund be available to all drivers on a monthly basis. (k)(5) of the same section requires that a carrier pay interest on all funds in escrow. (k)(6) requires that conditions for return of escrow funds be in the lease and at termination an accounting of funds be provided to the driver. (k)(6) also requires return of unused fuel tax credits to drivers at termination.

49 CFR 376.12(i) requires that the lessor (driver) is not required to purchase or rent any products, equipment or services from the carrier as a condition for entering the lease. This regulation would prevent them from telling you where to purchase your fuel. THe other regulations guide the reimbursement of fuel tax credits. If you are an independent contractor, there must be written lease. If there is not, then there may be many other legal violations. If you are an employee, many states have laws requiring reimbursement of expenses, but I suspect you are an independent contractor because you are stating you can purchase your fuel whereever you want. You can email me for actual specific legal advice as this email does not create a lawyer client relationship and is research based only. I hope this answers your questions.

 

Best Regards,

 

Mike

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Mike, you did at least put thought into your answer. However, I am not an independant contractor. I am a company driver. I know my original teacher said that company drivers could fuel wherever they wanted but I can't recall the law. I will keep looking for it on my own. As for what this site does with the 20 bucks I could care less. They can give it to you or divide it among all of you. I don't care. What I need it the name of the law that says a driver can fuel where he wants and the company has to reimburse him for it. I know it will be tough but I intend to keep searching. Your answer is the best one yet but it does not give me the name of the law I am looking for.
Expert:  Michael replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes, communication in writing can be difficult to clarify the nuances of what people mean. I took some liberty to read between the lines about your employment status. Many truck drivers are indeed ICs. Maybe your teach was talking about that arrangement in the context of fuel reimbursement issues? I'd really like to know the answer too considering I've studied this area of law for awhile and am interested intellectually. I wish you well in your search and if you find there is no law, then you should accept lwpat's answer above because it would be correct as far as I know.

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