The definition of coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.
But coercion in the trucking industry has been subtle. A dispatcher may give a load to a driver, knowing that he can’t make the delivery by following the hours of service regulations. The driver could complain to the dispatcher, who would then say, OK, I will get someone else and you will sit for the rest of the week. Well, the driver has kids, a mortgage, a car payment, what do you think he is going to do? He took the load. And when he got pulled in to the scale, and his log book was in violation it wasn’t the dispatchers problem. Log book fines average $2500.00 and are the bill goes to the driver.Read the rule from FMCSA here.
The responsibility is on the driver to tell the person asking him or her to violate the regulations, that it would be a violation and doesn’t want to do it. The coercion comes in after the driver says no and the person adds a threat or or as a condition of employment.
Unfortunately the regulation is not perfect. The entire burden is on the driver to report and prove the coercion happened. But it is a step in the right direction.
Be good to your drivers and run legal.