Many employers illegally deny overtime to workers because they are classified as drivers under the Motor Carrier Act. The Motor Carrier Act exemption allows companies not to pay overtime if employees are driving trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds and are being used in interstate commerce.
The exemption, however, does not apply to weeks in which employees are also operating vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or less. Thus, if you drive both a big truck and a small truck in the same week, you are entitled to be paid overtime.
The Technical Corrections Act extends FLSA section 7 overtime requirements to employees covered by the TCA), notwithstanding FLSA section 13(b)(1). This means the overtime pay requirements apply to an employee of a motor carrier or motor private carrier in any workweek in which the employee works, “in whole or in part”, as a driver, driver’s helper, loader or mechanic affecting the safety of operation of small vehicles on public highways in interstate or foreign commerce.
I litigated this specific issue with regard to an armored car company here in the Northern District of Texas. This was the first written decision from a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas addressing the issue. The judge completely ruled in our favor. A copy of the decision is attached here. Order Granting Summary Judgment.
Many companies still violate this law and do not pay their drivers correctly. If you drive a truck weighing 10,000 pounds or less you should be receiving overtime. Also the 10,000 pound limit can be known by reading the gross vehicle weight rating on the sticker usually located on the inside of the door.
This is a very common and costly FLSA violation. If you’re being denied overtime because of the Motor Carrier Act exemption, yet you also drive a small truck, please contact me to discuss.