Truck Drivers Sue FMCSA Over Disparaging Employment Reports

Six long-haul truck drivers from around the country have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) claiming the agency falsely diminished their value as truck drivers by including unnecessary information on their Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) reports.

The drivers hope to receive $1,000 compensation per alleged violation for themselves and every member of this year’s class. With the FMCSA responsible for providing the PSP’s, which are the most used trucking employee reports out there, the scope of the lawsuit could expand throughout the country if the truckers win.

So far the FMSCA has not provided any public comment regarding the pending case, but the unhappy truck drivers have vocally expressed their concerns. The six drivers claim that the PSP reports included information that should not have been part of a serious driver-related safety inspection. The PSPs are supposed to only contain accident reports from the past five years and reports of serious driver-related safety violations from the past three years. The PSP’s released information regarding excessive weight, speeding in the 6-10 mph range, failure to use a seatbelt, use of a radar detector, violation of hours rules, incorrect logs, failure to use hazard warning flashers, and unlawful parking. The drivers feel that these violations provide a false representation of their ability behind the wheel and claim that such disparaging information kept them from getting jobs and has hurt their reputation.

The six drivers and their attorneys are also claiming that the inclusion of such information in the PSPs is a violation of the 1974 Privacy Act. If the FMCSA is found guilty of the charges, the federal agency will be required to compensate every driver that received a PSP in this year’s class. Such a case could set a precedent for truck driver employment and safety regulations, and could affect the way trucking companies seek out new drivers.

The six drivers pressing charges are Thomas Flock of Nebo, Ill.; Thomas Gooden of Hudson, Fla.; Douglas Heisler of Peach Bottom, Pa.; Walter Johnson of Lawrence, Mass.; Gayla Kyle of Ogden, Kan.; and Dennis Thompson of Mauk, Ga.