When trucking companies need to hire new drivers, they understandably want to know if the drivers are experienced and responsible. By getting accident histories in the form of pre-employment reports, they get a better idea of whether a driver will be safe behind the wheel. The reports are part of a larger process called the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP).
According to media reports, the case appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court was actually a class action lawsuit brought by a group of truck drivers and backed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
The class action lawsuit claimed that the DOT’s practice of providing carriers with pre-employment reports went beyond the scope of the PSP, damaged drivers’ reputations, and made it difficult for them to find jobs.
The drivers who opposed the accident reports being included in the PSP said that the reports also included information about weight violations, speeding in the 6 to 10 mile per hour range, hours-of-service violations, unlawful parking, and incorrect logs. Their argument was that the reports should only include information about serious accidents and driver-related safety violations.