A bipartisan piece of legislation was reintroduced in the House today that would give truckers access to bathrooms at places they pick up and/or deliver freight.
Congressman Troy E. Nehls (R-Texas-22) and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pennsylvania-06) reintroduced the Trucker Bathroom Access Act, which would ensure truckers have access to bathroom facilities while they are on the road delivering or picking up cargo across the U.S. They originally offered the bill last December in the waning days of the congressional session, and it went nowhere.
While the legislation would not require businesses to construct new restrooms, it would mandate that truckers have the same access if a business has a bathroom available to their customers or employees.
“I am proud to reintroduce legislation that supports our nation’s truckers,” said Nehls. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, facilities across the country have shut down their bathrooms which have caused essential employees, like our truckers, not to have access to use the restroom at work. Truckers are this nation’s backbone, and we owe them for the tireless contributions they continue to make to keep our country moving."
Rep Houlahan said, “Our economy depends on truck drivers, but we face perpetual challenges with recruitment and retention. One unique and unnecessary challenge these drivers face is lack of restroom access at delivery points while on the road. This is especially difficult for female drivers, which are a growing demographic of truckers who helped power our economic recovery from the pandemic. There’s no reason truckers shouldn’t have the same rights that other employees experience in their own workplaces.”
The bill has the support of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), Women in Trucking (WIT), and the American Trucking Association (ATA).
“Over 70% of America’s freight is exclusively carried by trucks, yet every single day men and women truck drivers are forced to ‘hold it’ because they aren’t allowed access to the restroom when picking up or delivering freight,” said Todd Spencer, president and CEO of OOIDA. “OOIDA and our 150,000 members thank Representatives Nehls and Houlahan for showing tremendous leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with them and our coalition partners to get this commonsense, bipartisan 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 Reps. Nehls and Houlahan’s support to require shippers and receivers to offer our drivers this very basic need,” said Ellen Voie, founder of the Women In Trucking Association.
“Truck drivers are the heartbeat of our economy and critical to supply chain continuity,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of ATA. “When they stop to make pickups or deliveries — which can take hours on end while the truck waits to be loaded or unloaded — drivers should have access to restroom facilities. Such basic accommodations are more than just common courtesy; This is about ensuring the dignity of drivers and supporting the men and women who do the heavy lifting to provide for everyone in this country."