Over the past two decades, the trucking industry has undergone profound and fundamental changes due to deregulation. In addition, the promulgation of a significant number of federal and state employment laws and regulations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and the Newborns and Mothers Health Protection Act have increased the complexities of the trucking industry. In the face of these laws, there continues to be a shortage of qualified drivers. Consequently, the employee leasing industry, now often referred to as the Professional Employer Organization ("PEO") industry or alternative workforce industry, has experienced substantial growth in the "driver leasing" segment.
The Scopelitis firm's practice in the employee leasing area has grown with the industry, and, through our representation of PEO clients and our involvement in federal and state legislative initiatives in the employee leasing area, we are helping to shape the direction the employee leasing industry took in the 1980s when many of our motor carrier clients began to incorporate separate driver leasing companies to address the ever-increasing crisis caused by driver shortage and retention problems. Over the years, many of our driver leasing company clients have expanded operations to include the provision of employees to all areas of the transportation industry, including dispatch, mechanics, sales, and clerical personnel.
As with any new industry or industry segment that experiences rapid growth, the driver leasing segment of the PEO industry has had its share of growing pains. We have assisted our employee leasing company clients in all facets of operations and in the resolution of many controversies that arose as the uncharted waters of alternative workforce strategies were explored. From assisting in compliance with various state regulatory and licensing requirements to litigating, we have argued on behalf of clients before a number of state unemployment insurance departments, workers' compensation boards, licensing boards, state revenue departments, and the Internal Revenue Service as well. Through these experiences, we have helped to forge the laws and regulations within the employee leasing industry.
Today, the Scopelitis firm assists its clients in monitoring and complying with new state licensing and registration laws. As an associate member of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, the preeminent trade association representing the employee leasing industry, and a long time member of and advisor to the American Trucking Associations, we are able to keep abreast of issues facing the industry nationwide. We continue to be a leader among law firms in providing advice and counsel to professional employer organizations with a concentration in the driver leasing industry.