This bill would upend a seventy year-old provision in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act which excludes certain motor carrier employees from the FLSA overtime provisions. The Business Council opposes enactment of this bill.
- The very nature of the motor carrier business is interstate commerce. This legislation would put trucking businesses located in New York State at a huge competitive disadvantage since neighboring states have no such requirement. Requiring New York trucking companies to pay overtime when the rest of the region's and nation's trucking companies continue to utilize the FLSA exemption will force New York State carriers to raise freight rates and render them unable to compete with companies in surrounding states.
- Commercial driving is not a minimum wage job. Individuals who decide to become drivers meet various physical and safety standards, require additional license testing and are often required to have specialized training. According to the New York State Motor Truck Association, the average truck driver wage in New York is $52,000 annually and the vast majority of companies offer bonuses and full benefits.
- New York trucking companies are already being forced to bear a 200% increase in the burdensome highway use tax permit, a tax that only three other states have. Additionally, vehicle registrations, a significant cost for trucking, are scheduled to increase 25% in the coming year. With freight tonnage at historic lows, this industry cannot afford any additional costs to doing business
- This legislative proposal would continue to damage New York State's overall business environment.
For the third year in a row, New York was ranked as the second-worst state to do business in, according to Chief Executive Magazine in early 2008. Only California ranked worse. The Beacon Hill Institute's 2007 State Competitiveness Index, which gives significant weight to high-tech areas in which New York has strengths, nonetheless rated New York 38th overall. The American Legislative Exchange Council's 2007 State Economic Competitiveness Index ranked New York's overall competitiveness 49th.
This is the kind of legislation that contributes to New York 's declining reputation as a place to move or expand business as reflected in these surveys.
For these reasons, The Business Council opposes this legislation and respectfully urges that it not be enacted by the New York State Legislature.