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Fuel Clauses in Transportation Contracts

With the recent surge in the cost of fuel, school bus contractors nationwide have been closely monitoring the price at the pump over the last few months. When negotiating or renewing a transportation contract, fuel is typically a topic of significant dialog between the parties. School transportation contracts will normally specify who pays for fuel, but transportation contractors should also consider adding a fuel clause to address future fuel cost volatility.
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5/6/2022| Reference Number : 259.114.2| Legal, School Bus, Insurance/Risk Management, Legislative/Regulatory | Contract |

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Decide if Pupil Transportation Contracts Require Pre-Approval by the Department of Education

A pending appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will challenge existing case law holding that there are no statutory requirements for Department of Education pre-approval of Pupil Transportation Contracts. The case of Bell v. Wilkinsburg School District will be heard in March of this year to decide this important issue. Continue reading for more details.
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FMCSA Waiver of “Under the Hood” CDL Testing Requirements

We are now in the heart of the 2021-2022 school year, and contractors are continuing to face the harsh reality of the nationwide driver shortage. Recently, FMCSA took action intended to enhance school bus driver recruiting and retention by waiving CDL skills testing requirements that tended to intimidate and discourage school bus driver candidates. On January 3, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) published a “Waiver of Certain Pre-Trip inspection Skills Test Requirements...
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2/21/2022| Reference Number : 259.182| Legal, Legislative/Regulatory | FMCSA, Under-the-Hood, Waiver |

Update on Closure Day Payments to Contractors and Drivers

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, school districts nationwide have utilized some variation of both virtual and in-person instruction to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While most school districts began the 2021-2022 school year in person, the Delta and Omicron COVID- 19 variants have forced some districts to once again consider temporarily closing school in favor of virtual instruction. School closure days have left many contractors wondering how they will be paid. To ensu...
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Keeping Up with Evolving Pennsylvania Marijuana Laws

Despite the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (the “PMMA”), being passed over five (5) years ago, many Pennsylvania employers face uncertainty when addressing employees or applicants who are medical marijuana cardholders. The laws around marijuana are quickly evolving with recent court decisions, and recreational marijuana laws are becoming more common in neighboring states. This article will discuss risk management and the employers’ and the drug testing companies’ role in Pennsylvania wit...
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Managing Employee COVID Vaccination Status

At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, 25 states had issued some form of COVID vaccination mandate, while 12 other states issued COVID vaccination mandate bans. Then on November 4th, OSHA published its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) mandating COVID vaccinations for large employers, which was followed by a court ordered stay of enforcement issued on November 12th. As federal, state, and local government agencies continue to issue vaccination laws and policies, it is critical that contract...
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OSHA Whistleblower Complaints

COVID-19 has created an entirely new workplace safety issue within the purview of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (“OSHA”). While workplace safety has always been an important focus of the school bus industry, employers must now consider how they are handling their own internal protocols with regard to the coronavirus. If an employee raises a COVID based workplace safety concern, employers should be aware of possible OSHA implications when responding to such complaints. This ...
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