CCJ Daily Dispatch, Jan. 7: DOL publishes final rule to define ‘independent contractor’ within FLSA

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Updated Jan 8, 2021

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021: 

DOL publishes rule to codify independent contractor definition
The Department of Labor published Thursday its final rule clarifying the definition of independent contractor as it relates to the Fair Labor Standards Act, despite the Biden administration announcing last week that it would halt a number of the Trump administration’s “midnight regulations,” including DOL’s pending independent contractor rule.

The final rule, if it stands, will take effect March 8.

DOL says that after reviewing comments submitted following its notice of proposed rulemaking in September that it will adopt the guidance from the proposal. “The final rule explains that independent contractors are workers who, as a matter of economic reality, are in business for themselves as opposed to being economically dependent on the potential employer for work,” the rule states.

The rule uses five economic-reality factors to help businesses determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Two of those factors – the nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss – are the two primary factors for determining a worker’s classification and carry greater weight than the other three factors.

The other factors include: the amount of skill required for the work; the degree of permanence of the working relationship between the worker and the potential employer; and whether the work is part of an integrated unit of production.

Bison Transport acquired by global ag firm
Bison Transport (CCJ Top 250, No. 55) has been acquired by James Richardson & Sons, Limited (JRSL), a global agriculture and food processing company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

JRSL acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of Bison Transport and its affiliated companies, including H.O. Wolding, Searcy Trucking and Britton Transport. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition was effective on Jan. 1.

Bison, also headquartered in Winnipeg, is one of Canada’s largest trucking companies with over 3,700 employees and contractors operating a fleet of 2,100 tractors and 6,000 trailers throughout North America.

Bison was established in 1969 by Duncan M. Jessiman. The transfer of ownership from the Jessiman family’s holding company, Wescan, to JRSL will not result in any changes to Bison’s operations, nor to the Bison brand. Bison will continue to be headquartered in Winnipeg.

“Today marks my 30th anniversary at Bison Transport,” says Bison president and CEO Rob Penner. “As I take a moment to reflect, I take great pride in what we have accomplished here as a team on behalf of the Jessiman family. Having said that, I think that takes a second seat to the renewed energy and excitement I have for our future as part of the James Richardson & Sons group of companies. I feel great that the business I have had a part in building has secured its future with such a great organization.”

Paccar Parts has launched a line of electric vehicle chargers.Paccar Parts has launched a line of electric vehicle chargers.

Paccar Parts introducing EV charging stations
Paccar Parts is introducing new electric vehicle charging stations to support the global launch of electric vehicles. The chargers are designed to be compatible with Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF electric trucks and work for other EV commercial vehicles.

Customers can purchase the chargers from Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF dealers and TRP store locations worldwide, choosing from multiple DC fast chargers rated up to 920V DC. These electric vehicle charging stations maximize coverage over a wide range of EVs, including trucks, vans, buses and other commercial vehicles.

“We offer a tailored approach to charging solutions that include best-fit options with charging levels from 20 kilowatts (kW) up to 350 kilowatts charging power,” said Chris Scheel, Paccar Parts senior director of marketing.

The 20 kW charger option is a UL-certified DC Wallbox and is designed for commercial parking and fleet or dealership service facilities.

The 50 kW model supports the daily operations of an individual truck for medium- and heavy-duty fleets.

Designed for convenient fast charging of all electric vehicles, the 120 and 180 kW chargers are for fleets operating multiple routes or even multiple shifts. The compact size makes it ideal for urban use, Paccar Parts says, and the 180 kW unit has enough power to charge most trucks in less than four hours.