Drivers - Understanding the Motor Carrier Act Overtime Exemption Under the FLSA
· Are you a truck driver or do you drive another commercial vehicle?
· Does your employer classify you as exempt from overtime wages?
Your position may be misclassified
Due to the complexity of the Motor Carrier rulings by the courts when interpreting the two different governmental regulations, it is entirely possible that your position has been misclassified. If you work more than 40 hours per week, you may be entitled to overtime pay even though your employer has told you otherwise. You should contact an Employment Law firm for clarification.
As an exempt driver, you are not eligible for overtime under the FLSA regulations.
If you exclusively drive vehicles with gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight (GVWR or GVR) of 10,001 pounds (whichever is greater) or more then you are considered exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act ( FLSA) overtime regulations. This is based on the Motor Carrier Exemption defined by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users ( SAFETEA-LU), passed by Congress on August 10, 2005.
However, if you drive a vehicle with GVWR or GVR of 10,000 pounds or less (again, whichever is greater), then you are eligible for overtime pay. Even if you regularly drive a combination of vehicles that are both above and below the exemption threshold, you are eligible for overtime compensation.
In the ruling of the Hernandez v. Alpine Logistics case, a New York federal district court recently issued a decision where drivers of a mixed vehicle fleet are eligible for overtime wages under the FLSA regulations. This is important to every Motor Carrier employee as you may have been misclassified as exempt. The misclassification may be intentional or unintentional, but your ability to receive overtime has been positively affected by this ruling.
Fair Labor Standards Act § 207. Maximum hours
Except as otherwise provided in this section, no employer shall employ any of his employees who in any workweek is engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or is employed in an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, for a workweek longer than forty hours unless such employee receives compensation for his employment in excess of the hours above specified at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed.
If you have been misclassified as exempt, you may be eligible for overtime pay for every hour worked over 40 hours in a workweek and back overtime wages too! When discussing this with your employer, you are protected by state and federal retaliation laws. If you feel that you have been misclassified or have been harassed or fired due to discussing overtime eligibility with your employer, you should seek immediate legal counsel. Contact the Employment Law firm of Feldman Morgado today!
Remember: Any employee who is paid a salary is not exempt from overtime wages merely by the fact of not being paid as an hourly employee.