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refusing to haul a load (im a truck driver) with no license plate on trailer and employer refused to make load legal

by carla murray
(kingman arizona usa)

i found my license plate on trailer was missing i reported it to my safety director she said continue on they would fix it once i got it into yard which was 1500 miles away. i went thru 1 weigh station the officer wrote me a ticket for $728 and $50 when it was corrected. i told safety what the officer said and did. the officer told me i would recieve a ticket at every weigh station across (about 5 more weigh stations) unless i got them to fedex me a plate for the trailer. i told safety this they refused to fedex a plate ,they said they would pay the tickets, i asked if they would put that in writing and fax it to me, they said they would put nothing in writing and if i didnt roll with the load they would put me down as quitting and abandoning truck trailer and load causing me to be unhireable by anyone in the trucking industry. i said no i wasnt quitting i just require the load to be legal or to have it in writing that they would not hold me responsable for the tickets as they charge drivers $75-$1000 per ticket on top of we pay the courts the fines.i also sent this in an email to their email address they sent a driver to me told me give my key to the other driver i was done , they lied about this in appeal court for unemployment, but i showed proof. however unemployment found that this company does not pay unemployment or workers comp or deduct taxes from our pay. i did not know this, so they decided this was not my last employer and went after my previous employer where i voluntarily quit, because of never getting days off and hometime. unemployment put my u.i. into unresolved issue and its been there for 6 weeks going on 7 weeks. i live in arizona applied in arizona. what can i do where unemployment is concerned as i feel they got

my case went to sleep and forgot to wake up. and what can i do where the employer is concerned he kept my last 2 paychecks totaling $3000.00 and he put on my dac report (which is how other trucking companies hire drivers thru) he put that i abandoned truck trailer and load was in an unauthorized area and broke company policy. these statements have made it impossable to get employment elsewhere with another trucking company. i have applied to 250 other companies always getting the same answer , with that on my dac and them giving me such a bad referance i am not hireable by federal laws governing the trucking industry . what can i do? i cant get unemployment off their duff and i cant find employment due to these statements, can you guide me in the right direction. ive been a truck driver for 12yrs and this is the worst position ive ever gotten into. what can i legally do? i have thought of the illegal but would prefer to keep this legal.thanks my name is carla murray they call me halfpint on the radio.

Oh Halfpint:), let's keep it legal.

I can assume a few things about this trucking company and why the state has it in an unresolved status .. they are probably investigating this employer and they are very possibly in a whole lot of hot water.

In the meantime Carla if you want to keep it legal .. and you should .. you need to contact an attorney .. this is way beyond anything I can help you with .. not to mention that since they are reporting you as abandoning your truck to other employers .. you probably have some other kind of lawsuit to pursue.

Clearly, if they had been paying UI tax .. you would be receiving benefits by now .. because when they asked you to drive illegally .. you had good cause to quit .. let alone getting fired for refusing.

Seriously, talk to a lawyer .. I mean it!!

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To Disco Queen
by: Chris -

You are so very kind and your help and insights are very much appreciated.

I do know a little about combined wage claim with regard to unemployment. The process gets slowed down by the transferring of wage credits to the paying state from another liable state.

It's never a good idea to have two active claims going at the same time, but when one state denies benefits, or is dragging it's feet it's best to wait for a denial, and then open a new claim in the other state.

As for me, if I were in the position of having a choice about which state I filed an unemployment claim in, I'd not only consider the weekly benefit amount, but the provisions and precedents for voluntary quits and discharges.

With more and more states opting to tighten some loopholes for a valid argument, for instance, when a state decides to add substantial fault to misconduct provisions, such as Wisconsin recently has done .. or when NJ broke misconduct down into three levels, gross, severe, and simple (synonomous with the idea of substantial fault) .. the purpose becomes obvious when you see the reduction in recipiency from one year to the next.

Disco Queen, again, I thank you for all the info .. but then I know I can be sort of weird, in that what you're sharing, peaks my interest to such a degree, I just wrote a bunch of acronyms on a notepad so I wouldn't forget what you tempted me to explore some more.


I will give this Q&A a bump to the top of the pile on the blog in case any other truck drivers have a need to know.

More assistance
by: Disco Queen

I drove truck for 20 years and now the safety director of a medium sized trucking company is Wisconsin.

In addition to what I posted earlier (which I assume you read and have followed) is more information which I hope will help you or others that might find themselves in the same situation.

ALWAYS when ever possible, take screen shots of any QUALCOMM, text messages, etc as this will be direct proof of what was said at a later time. Remember electronic messages can be deleted if necessary so if you take a screen shot of the message (make sure we can see its a phone or QUALCOMM device) you have proof of what was said and the tone of the message received.

On unemployment issue....if you worked or "based" out of a different state and live in another state (you mentioned Arizona) have two different states you could potentially have applied for unemployment benefits less you had a previous unemployment claim within the last 36-months. So if one state is dragging their feet, call them and ask what is the delay. Are they waiting for you to provide something or are they waiting for a document from you. Be polite and friendly as your just a number to them in a sea of many. Work the system to your favor asking them if you forgot something and let them "spill information" to you. If you still don't get a satisifactory answer then ask them if you can move the unemployment claim to the other state (if you worked in one state and lived in another can this be done). Ask them what the steps are as an applicant can do this in some cases. Remember work the system in your favor.

Then for looking for other work...there is numerous other employers out there that don't use Hireright (DAC) or even know what that is. Look for a more local driving job (most of the time they don't use DAC) and will have a much higher success rate of talking to a real human being (such as myself and explain the situation too).

As for the negative Hireright (DAC) can challenge the report as being inaccurate. Submit to Hireright the reason as to why you feel it is incorrect and submit copies of the proof to those claims. If they do not change the report, then submit a rebuttle statement to the Hireright report explaining your side of the events and ask them to attach it to your report.

If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.

by: Benjamin

It seems like this bad luck keeps following you around, because unfortunately companies frown on drivers getting fired. Still, you can find a company like **unpaid for advertising link deleted** that actually values drivers and knows companies are at fault in many cases, just like your own. It seems you'll have to settle for another starter company, keep on looking,you'll find something.

STAA claim
by: Disco-Queen

What you have here driver is a valid STAA claim and you need to file a STAA claim with your local OSHA office within 180 days of termination.

Under the new CSA rules and FMCSA regulations, I'm assuming you were citied under s.392.2 State vehicle registration or license plate violation.

Under s.392, the driver must be satisfied that equipment that said driver is to operate is in good working order free from defect that could cause a break-down and/or accident or violation of state/local law(s). You were clearly not satisfied and told the motor carrier of a known defect and asked such motor carrier to correct known defect prior to your operation of vehicle.

Its the company that failed to act here and you have all legal rights per s.392 and the new CSA regulations not to operate such vehicle till such defects are corrected.

I strongly suggest reviewing your logs and submitting a STAA claim with OSHA for violation of such act (the unwillingness to operate a motor vehicle till its defects are corrected).

Thank you very much .. good stuff to know!


thankyou so much
by: carla

i am taking your advice,i am seeking legal my 12 yrs out here, i have loved every minute,until these past 7 months,got myself in a real jam.but i learned a costly lesson,employers look at our background before they hire us we should also look into their background before we apply.i found so many people that worked for this trk co. that went thru the same if not worse and still they get away with it.NO UNEMPLOYMENT IS NOT GOING TO PUT A STOP TO IT THEY ARE GOING TO LET THEM CLASSIFY ME AS AN INDEPENDANT CONTRACTOR!!! BUT THE GOOD THING IS I LEARNED A LESSON ,AND MABE SOMEDAY THEY WILL BE MADE TO PAY,AND MADE TO EITHER SHUT THEIR DOORS OR BE LEGAL!!!AND I INTEND HAVING MY HAND INSURING EITHER ONE TAKES PLACE EVEN IF ITS WITH MY LAST BREATH....THANKYOU SO VERY MUCH ON YOUR ADVICE,IM STILL LEGAL.GONNA STAY THAT WAY TOO!!!


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