Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Heads up, Canadian commercial vehicle operators and those doing business across the border with a commercial vehicle. As of January 1, 2023, Canada is now enforcing its electronic logging device (ELD) requirement—with penalties—for all commercial motor carriers operating in the country, including those crossing from the US. This is following the phase-in “education” period and previous delays due to COVID.

Canada ELD enforcement

The ELD used must be on the approved list set forth by Transport Canada and the Minister of Transport for both Canada- and US-based operators. The list of approved devices and model numbers can be found here.

Guidance from the agency for US operators: “US-based motor carriers and drivers must use electronic logging devices that meet Canada's regulations and technical standard. You can use devices that meet both Canadian and American regulations, but the device must be tested and certified by a certification body that has been accredited by Transport Canada. US exemptions (e.g. agricultural exemption) will not be recognized in Canada.”

You can find more information about Canada’s enforcement of ELDs here.


Special thanks to Jason Sharenow of Broadway Elite Worldwide and Pattie Cowley of the Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association for the reminder.


In December, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) commented on the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposal for determining employee or independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), urging the agency to withdraw the potential updated rule that would make it harder to classify workers as ICs. ASTA is a leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry, and the traveling public.

According to the DOL, “the proposed rule would provide guidance on classifying workers and seeks to combat employee misclassification. Misclassification is a serious issue that denies workers’ rights and protections under federal labor standards, promotes wage theft, allows certain employers to gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding businesses, and hurts the economy at-large.”

This would rescind the so-called simpler Independent Contractor Rule of 2021, passed under the Trump administration, which the Biden administration attempted to block before it was enacted but was ultimately put into effect. The new proposed rule would be similar to the IC classification that was in place during the Obama administration. In short: the proposed rule would restore a “totality-of-the circumstances” assessment of the “economic reality test,” a more comprehensive review of factors in deciding whether a worker is truly an IC or employee, that generally has a bias toward employee classification.

However, not all workers and employers agree on employee status as a benefit. When the public comment period of the proposed ruling closed in December 2022, there were more than 55,000 comments, many in favor of the current test and the preference for IC status.

“Rather than trying to fix something that isn’t broken, the proposal should be withdrawn. For decades, the usage of independent contractors in our industry has grown steadily because it provides substantial benefits for both workers and agencies in situations where a traditional employment relationship doesn’t make sense,” said ASTA President & CEO Zane Kerby. “In our view, as compared with the interpretation currently in place, DOL’s proposal represents a clear, if modest, step backward that would increase uncertainty as to a worker’s status as either an employee or an independent contractor.”

The final ruling is expected to be announced in May 2023.

Visit asta.org for more information.


A Step Above

Charlotte, N.C.-based A Step Above Limousine Service announced the addition of three new motorcoaches to its fleet. According to CEO Anne Rubey, the company decided to invest in three new MCI J4500 motorcoaches after receiving too many large group bookings during last year’s festive season.

A Step Above A Step Above Limousine Service’s growing full-service fleet

“In December of last year, one thing that became extremely clear is that more people are willing to travel in large groups. As a result, we saw an increase in multiple bookings of 56-passenger motorcoaches,” says Rubey. She adds that Christmas day was among the busiest for the company, which prompted the need for the additional coaches.

The CEO noted that when renting motorcoaches from other companies, A Step Above Limousine Service had to keep customizations to the bare minimum. However, with the new vehicles, Rubey says they are better positioned to care for all client’s needs, which could also lead to lower costs for their customers.

“Renting additional motorcoaches was one of the reasons our customers had to pay a higher cost,” said Rubey. “Customers had to pay for the rental cost, and we also had to get some money to pay our chauffeurs by the end of the trip. Now that we no longer have to rent the motorcoaches, our customers can expect more affordable costs.”

Rubey says that they are planning on adding more coaches this year.

Visit astepabovelimo.com for more information.