How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question

Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37083
Experience:  I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I work for a trucking company as a truck driver. All dispatches

Resolved Question:

I work for a trucking company as a truck driver. All dispatches to drivers are "forced dispatches," meaning the driver must do them. Many of these dispatches violate Hours of Service regulations. The company has verbally stated to just "Do the best you can" and
"Don't make a mistake" when having to falsify a driver's log book to make delivery on time for one of these errant dispatches. The company routinely sends out dispatches they know violate Hours of Service. This company will be audited by the D.O.T. early next year. All log sheets turned in by drivers are therefore subject to fines. I contend it is a form of duress we drivers are under to deliver at an illegal time (that which violates Hours of Service) when all dispatches are forced and the company knows they violate Hours of
Service. Yet, these heavy fines await all of us from the pending audit, when the D.O.T. compares log sheets turned in to the official data contained in satellite-tracking records, as well as from electronic records of toll payments, fuel stops, etc. Again, I think a legal shield of employee duress plays a significant part here, because the penalties of refusing a forced dispatch are harsh, including termination. Who wants to have to look for a job in the current economy? What do you think?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

If I may ask, are you an independent contractor or an employee? Have you ever vocally contested or stated that the 'forced dispatches' that you are made to run are not permitted under law? have you ever personally falsifed records, or has that only been done by headquarters?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I am an employee. I, as well as most other drivers (if not all), have falsified records. It is the "culture" of this company to drive illegally. After 18 months on this job, I have begun to send text messages contesting certain dispatches. [We recently changed methods for sending text messages, so I can't prove the messages from the older system. But, in the past, the company allowed no room for violating the dispatch.] Recently, I got them to relax the time stated for one delivery. Usually, they want it delivered as stated, per their written policy. They thereby imply their defiance of Hours of Service without speaking directly to it. This comes from the owner of the company and his two sons that manage it.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your follow-up, Jeffrey.

Beyond contesting, in part, what else have you done? Have you reported them to Department of Transportation or other agencies? I am trying to see what deniability you may have since so far all I see is direct complicity (duress does not really work well, and I will explain why in my next post). Please advise!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I understand. I am considering writing to the D.O.T. because they are the ones that will be doing the audit. This company is severe in its violations, and it needs to be shut down. This "culture" of cutting corners on regulations extends to maintenance of their trucks, which their own mechanics perform. The repairs are often intentionally avoided and covered up (as in disabling a warning light so it can't light up its warning, as opposed to fixing the core problem with the vehicle). This is a wildly run trucking company that is on a collision course with a calamitous consequence.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Jeffrey,

One final question if I may ask. How many employees does this company currently have on the payroll?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

They have about forty drivers, an office staff of about five or six and about three or four mechanics.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Jeffrey.

The reason I asked is because 'duress' ultimately does not work--there is no overt threat that you listed of force or threat of force. Being terminated, if you are 'at will', is always a possibility even for without cause. But what is possible is to make a formal report to the D.O.T. and seek protections as a 'whistleblower', something that you would be granted if you can show that you are directly reporting illegal or fraudulent activity that is caused by your employer to the correct regulatory agencies. This protection grants you some rights from ensuring that the employer cannot simply terminate you outright since doing so will give you a basis to file suit for damages. It also places you in a position where your legitimate concerns are made public and you are essentially on record in contesting the actions of the employer. This is a far more practical approach to consider and while it can create serious stress and concerns, this will grant you the protection needed to go forward.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37083
Experience: I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 9 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
< Last | Next >
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
  • Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you Happy Customer Denver, CO
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10539
    Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9785
    Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Employment Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9429
    Employment/Labor Law Litigation
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MILawyer/2011-2-28_0311_JBUprofile.64x64.jpg JB Umphrey's Avatar

    JB Umphrey

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6273
    Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2469
    Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2214
    I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.