In one of the year’s most anticipated court decisions for the trucking industry, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 2785, et al. v. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, No. 19-70413 (Jan. 15, 2021), the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ruling that federal rest break regulations pre-empted California’s meal and rest break rules, as applied to drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles.
Title 49, Section 31141(c) of the United States Code gives the FMCSA the authority to review whether its rules and regulations pre-empt state laws “on commercial motor vehicle safety.” In 2018, the FMCSA reviewed California’s meal and rest break rules and determined that they were pre-empted by the agency’s own break requirements. This determination was challenged and ultimately brought before the 9th Circuit.