House Lawmakers Introduce Bathroom Access Bill
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Legislation to ensure access to restrooms for commercial drivers on the job recently was introduced in the House of Representatives.
“I am proud to reintroduce legislation that supports our nation’s truckers,” Nehls said June 6. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities across the country have shut down their bathrooms, which have caused essential employees, like our truckers, not to have access to use the restroom at work. Truckers are this nation’s backbone, and we owe them for the tireless contributions they continue to make to keep our country moving.
“I am glad to once again partner with Rep. Houlahan on this common-sense legislation to allow our nation’s truckers access to bathrooms while they are transporting goods on the road.”
Troy Nehls (R-Texas) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.)
Houlahan added that the economy depends on truck drivers, but there are perpetual challenges with recruitment and retention.
“One unique and unnecessary challenge these drivers face is lack of restroom access at delivery points while on the road. This is especially difficult for female drivers, which are a growing demographic of truckers who helped power our economic recovery from the pandemic,” she said.
“I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure every truck driver has the certainty that a restroom is accessible as they do their jobs. There’s no reason truckers shouldn’t have the same rights that other employees experience in their own workplaces,” she added.
WASHINGTON LAW: State requires shippers give bathroom access to truck drivers
Specifically, the bill would mandate that truck drivers be guaranteed access to restrooms at establishments. The access must be similar to that afforded to customers and employees. The bill was referred to a committee of jurisdiction for consideration.
Groups such as American Trucking Associations support the bill.
“Truck drivers are the heartbeat of our economy and critical to supply chain continuity,” ATA President Chris Spear said. “When they stop to make pickups or deliveries — which can take hours on end while the truck waits to be loaded or unloaded — drivers should have access to restroom facilities. Such basic accommodations are more than just common courtesy; this is about ensuring the dignity of drivers and supporting the men and women who do the heavy lifting to provide for everyone in this country. It can also help reduce a major barrier to retaining and recruiting more truck drivers, particularly women, at a time when they are desperately needed.”
Added Spear, “ATA appreciates the leadership of Reps. Nehls and Houlahan in addressing this challenge faced by professional truck drivers, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that drivers’ most basic needs are met while they do the important work of delivering the nation’s goods.”
Said Todd Spencer, CEO of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association: “Over 70% of America’s freight is exclusively carried by trucks, yet every single day, men and women truck drivers are forced to ‘hold it’ because they aren’t allowed access to the restroom when picking up or delivering freight.
“OOIDA and our 150,000 members thank Reps. Nehls and Houlahan for showing tremendous leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with them and our coalition partners to get this common-sense, bipartisan legislation signed into law.”
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