What to Know when State and Federal Laws Differ

As we have mentioned numerous times in previous blog posts, one of the most important responsibilities business owners have is ensuring their company and operations comply with state and federal regulations.

This can be easier said than done, however, especially when state and federal laws sometimes seem to say different things. For instance, the trucking industry must comply with Hours of Service regulations designed to keep fatigued, overworked drivers off the road. However, the State of California’s Meal and Rest Break rules (until recently) required truck drivers to have the same meal and rest breaks as other types of employees. That California law, however, was recently amended.

What are the rules?

According to reports, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety determined that California can no longer enforce these meal and rest break rules. The FMCSA determined that the state’s conflicting regulations created a burden on companies and consumers. It also created confusion when truckers and companies operated in multiple states. As such, the FMCSA granted a petition to preempt the state rules.

What we can learn from this situation

This is just one example of the confusion that can arise when state and federal regulations vary or conflict with each other. It’s not just an issue for the trucking industry, either. All types of companies must comply with numerous laws and regulations that may not be as straightforward or clear as business owners would like.

Rather than expend energy and time trying to translate (or challenge) these rules, business owners can consult an attorney who has the legal knowledge and resources to navigate these complex issues. Securing legal counsel to handle these matters can allow owners to focus on running their business effectively.

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