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Problems Created by the Truck Driver Shortage

Due to driver shortages, many truckers offer to pay the costs associated with training new drivers and assisting them to get a commercial driver’s license. Oftentimes, these drivers are required to sign a contract agreeing to work for the “training trucker” for some period at reduced compensation.  These deals have resulted in several types of lawsuits.

In some cases, other truckers have lured away these “under contract drivers” before they have worked for the “training trucker” for the required time.  Some “training truckers” have then filed suit against the trucker that lured away “under contract drivers” for intentional interference with contract. 

In other cases, the “under contract drivers” have sued the “training trucker” claiming that contracts requiring the driver to work for the “training trucker” for some period of time violated restraint of trade and other state laws supporting freedom of employment. 

In CRST v. Swift, 8 F. 4th 690, the federal court found in responding to a preliminary motion that the trucker that hired away “under contract drivers” may not have intentionally interfered with contracts of the “under contract drivers” where said trucker advertised generally for such drivers and may not have known of their contracts.  The court also found that the drivers lured away were “at will” California employees and free to terminate their employment contracts for any reason.   

Some employment agreements signed by “under contract drivers” provide the drivers with the option of reimbursing the “training trucker” for the training and licensure costs incurred.  Such a provision may resolve all issues.  The “under contract driver” may terminate his/her employment at any time by reimbursing the “training trucker” for its training costs.  A trucker that retains the services of an “under contract driver” could easily reimburse the “training trucker” for its training costs to avoid any future litigation.   

Contact our Transportation Attorneys  or  Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt to learn more about Driver Employment agreements and minimize your legal risk risk.

This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500 for legal assistance near you. (Photo Credit 123rf.com.)


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