Mike Millian must’ve slept well Thursday night. It was his first time serving as president of the Private Motor Truck Council, after a 21-year reign by Bruce Richards, an his first time overseeing its flagship event, the annual conference.

It went off without a hitch and he said it attracted record attendance and sponsorship. But he also directed any praise and congrats to director of member services Vanessa Cox, who organized the event and this wasn’t her first rodeo – she’s been working there fore more than a decade.

Mike is a regular event as well, just not in his current role as president. It was a well attended conference and as usually, packed with some good info.

One of the highlights was a legal update from employment lawyer Chris Andree. He went over a number of legal issues, including off-duty conduct of employees, which has been a hot issue of late following the belligerent comments of a Hydro One employee in front of a TV camera. With so many employees and drivers now Tweeting and posting Facebook updates that relate to work, it’s important employers and employees understand the limits of what is and isn’t acceptable.

Basically, he said, employees do have a “duty of loyalty and fidelity (to their employer), even when not at work.”

However, he also said firing an employee for a single case of improper off-duty conduct is likely not advisable, especially if they have a solid track record.

Updates were also provided on drug and alcohol testing, the status of independent contractors, changes coming to driver services agency requirements and new Ontario legislation that will require you to remind employees of all their rights, including overtime entitlement. This last one will be a major concern for companies that aren’t properly calculating overtime pay, Chris warned. Here’s a write-up on his presentation.

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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