FMCSA overstepping on release of driver-violation info, lawsuit alleges

Boston – Six members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, alleging that FMCSA is unlawfully releasing reports of driver safety records to potential employers.

Although FMCSA may report “serious driver-related violations” as part of its Pre-Employment Screening Program, the plaintiffs claim the agency is overstepping its bounds by listing violations not identified as such by the Secretary of Transportation. The lawsuit says FMCSA’s reports hinder the drivers’ earning potential and hiring opportunities.

Each of the plaintiffs is seeking $1,000 in statutory damages as part of the complaint, which was filed in federal court in Boston. The plaintiffs also said they would ask the court to certify a class and award statutory damages to any drivers for whom such reports have been prepared.

“FMCSA’s actions in implementing the PSP program demonstrate their deliberate ineptness and disregard for clear statutory limitations,” OOIDA President Jim Johnston said in a press release.

When contacted by Safety+Health magazine, FMCSA officials declined comment, citing an agency policy to not speak about litigation.