September 1, 2016 10:00 AM, EDT

National Tank Truck Carriers Asks Feds if National Hazmat Law Preempts California Rest Break Regs

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The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is seeking comment on a request by the National Tank Truck Carriers that the agency make an administrative determination whether federal hazmat transportation law preempts California meal and rest break requirements for hazmat carriers.

NTTC contends the California meal and rest break regulations should be preempted because they create unnecessary delay for the transportation of hazardous materials, conflict with the hazardous materials regulatory attendance requirements and create an obstacle to accomplishing the security objectives of the hazmat regulations.

PHMSA made the announcement Sept. 1 in an advance notice scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Sept. 2. The agency said it will accept comments for 45 days after the notice is published.

The California Code of Regulations mandate that an employee is entitled to a 30-minute meal period after five hours of work, and a second 30-minute meal period after 10 hours of work.

Generally, the employee must be “off duty” during the meal period, according to the regulations.

For rest periods, employees are entitled to a 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked. And, if a meal or rest period is not provided, the employer shall pay the employee one hour of pay.