Owner Operator Agreements, also called Lease Agreements, must comply with the rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the FMCSA) in 49 C.F.R. § 376.12. The regulations provide the basic components of an Owner Operator Agreement or Lease Agreement. An experienced trucking and transportation attorney can help provide the legal counsel and legal documents necessary to ensure compliance with federal regulations and protect against driver lawsuits regarding compensation and chargebacks.
Another important consideration in crafting your Owner Operator Agreement is protection of the independent contractor relationship. Using an outdated or poorly-drafted Independent Contractor Agreement can expose your company to tremendous liabilities including class-action suits by drivers, payroll taxes liability, wage claims, unemployment insurance claims, and additional liability in accident cases. Trucking Companies should update their Independent Contractor Agreement regularly to keep up with ever-changing laws, regulations and legal precedent.
Based on years of experience in the trucking industry, drafting Independent Contractor Agreements and courtroom defense of trucking companies in driver lawsuits, our firm can provide valuable drafting and legal advice to promote driver retention and protect your company from future lawsuits. Whether your company has used owner-operators for years, or your company is considering starting an owner-operator program for the first time, our experienced trucking lawyers can draft an agreement tailored to your operations that can promote driver retention while limiting your exposure. As always, please contact us if you have any questions.