A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives Wednesday that would require shippers and receivers to grant truckers access to restroom facilities when they are picking up or delivering cargo.
The bipartisan bill was introduced by Rep. Troy Nehls, a Republican from Texas, and Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat from Pennsylvania.
- would require retailers, warehouses, and other businesses to give truckers access to bathroom facilities when they are picking up cargo or making deliveries
- would not require businesses to construct new restrooms; it only requires that if a business has a restroom available to their customers or employees, truckers should have the same access
- would require the operators of ports and terminals to provide bathroom access to drayage drivers
The legislation was praised by two trucking organizations.
“The men and women of America’s trucking industry keep our supply chain moving and it’s only reasonable that their most basic of needs be accommodated while they are on the job,” said Todd Spencer, president and CEO of OOIDA. “We’ve heard from countless drivers who have been forced to ‘hold it’ because they were not allowed to access the bathroom when they were picking up or delivering freight. We thank Representatives Nehls and Houlahan for showing tremendous leadership on this issue and we look forward to continue working with him and our coalition partners to get this legislation signed into law.”
“As more women enter the trucking industry, the need for restroom access increases while access to facilities has decreased. We applaud Rep. Nehls’ support to require shippers and receivers to offer our drivers this very basic need,” said Ellen Voie, President and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association.
Houlahan said having access to restrooms is essential if the trucking industry is going to be successful in recruiting more women to be drivers.
“Time and again, we’ve seen that when we include more women in our workforce, our economy prospers—that’s true for the trucking industry, too,” said Houlahan. “But restricted access to bathrooms is putting that progress in jeopardy. In response, our new bipartisan legislation will give all truckers, and female drivers in particular, the confidence of having access to a restroom when they deliver goods to businesses and American families. Especially as the trucking industry continues to face employee retention challenges, we must ensure that we are providing truckers a working environment that honors the vital role they play in growing our economy. Ultimately, keeping more drivers on the road means fewer supply chain delays and lower costs. I’m proud to partner with Rep. Nehls on this straightforward effort.”
Action on the legislation any time soon is unlikely as the current session of Congress ends Jan. 3. It would have to be reintroduced in the next session.