The Navigator Blog

Michigan Now Using 20-Factor Test to Identify Independent Contactors

Motor Carriers, and other companies, operating in Michigan please take note:  Effective January 2013 Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation Agency Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs began using the IRS’s “20-Factor Test” to determine if an individual is an independent contactor or an employee of an organization. Employers must comply with state and federal employment and tax laws, including withholding certain taxes, contributing toward unemployment and providing workers compensation insurance for employees; requirements which would not apply to independent contractor’s whose services are being hired by the motor carrier. It is vital that organizations who utilize the services of independent contractor’s familiarize

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Jason’s Law

Jason’s Law   Recently out on the road I passed a truck with a sign posted on his truck that read, “I support Jason’s Law.”  Working so close to the trucking industry, I was a little embarrassed that I was not familiar with this law.  A quick Google search informed me that “Jason’s Law” is and initiative to provide increased safety for our hard working truck drivers while out on the road.  The bill was passed by the Senate on March 13, 2012 by a 74 to 22 vote. For anyone unfamiliar, here is a run down of how the

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The Importance of Maintaining and Accurate MCS-150

Do your company’s Unsafe Driving and Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) percentiles on the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) look inaccurate to you?  It could be that you are in need of updating your company’s Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) and Power Unit (PU) data on your Motor Carrier Registration Form (aka: MCS-150.) Accurate VMT and PU information is vital to properly asses your level of exposure.  If your VMT data is from 2010 or older, it was not used in your calculations for the January SMS snapshot.  Instead, the level of exposure defaulted to average power

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FMCSA Hours-of-Service Enforcement Will Not be Delayed

On February 26, 2013 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced that it will not delay enforcement of the new hours-of-service rules.  This was in response to the American Trucking Association’s request to delay enforcing the rules until three months following the ATA’s currently pending lawsuit is decided. Currently the new hours-of-service rules are expected to go into effect July 1, 2013.  However, the ATA, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association have all requested that the implementation of the new rules be delayed until after the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

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Legalization of Medical Marijuana Does Not Impact DOT Regulations

In light of recent state laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana, it is important to note the Department of Transportation Office of Drug and Alcohol Compliance Notice originally written by Jim Swart and published October 22, 2009 remains appropriate today.  This notice explains that while the Department of Justice has made a specific set of recommendations to Federal prosecutors for pursuing criminal cases with respect to medical marijuana, those recommendations do not effect or modify the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program.  Despite legalization in some states for medicinal purposes, marijuana continues to be listed in Schedule I

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Educating Family and Friends in Post Accident Procedures

Recently one of our local news stations posted a breaking news story to their website warning that a crash between a tractor-trailer and car had shut down a major highway.  The details were tragic.  The car’s passenger had passed away and nearly everyone else involved in the accident suffered injuries.  While the facts were not yet clear, there was no indication that the semi driver was at fault. Near the bottom of the page a “comments” section appeared and one comment in particular caught my attention.  It had apparently been made by a child of the truck driver involved in

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