Section 13(b)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides an overtime exemption for drivers within the authority of the Secretary of Transportation under Section 204 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935. Essentially, these laws allow employers to classify drivers operating certain types of vehicles as overtime exempt and have been a part of our nation’s labor laws for decades. However, some employers violate these laws, either knowingly or unknowingly, and shortchange hard working men and women out of the time and a half compensation they deserve.
Motor Carrier Exemption Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
According to the Department of Labor, drivers that meet the following conditions may be exempt from overtime pay:
- The employee’s duties must include the performance, either regularly or from time to time, of safety-affecting activities on a motor vehicle used in transportation on public highways in interstate or foreign commerce. Employees must perform such duties as a driver, driver’s helper, loader, or mechanic.
- Transportation involved in the employee’s duties must be in interstate commerce (across State or international lines) or connect with an intrastate terminal (rail, air, water, or land) to continue an interstate journey of goods that have not come to rest at a final destination.
Small Vehicle Exemptions Under the MCA
There are also certain exemptions to the MCA. Until 2005, many small vehicles were also covered by the overtime exemptions in the MCA, but the following types of drivers and vehicles are covered by Section 7 of the FLSA, which sets a 40-hour overtime threshold where workers are entitled to one and a half times their average hourly wage.
The employee’s work, in whole or in part, is that of a driver, driver’s helper, loader or mechanic affecting the safety of operation of motor vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less in transportation on public highways in interstate or foreign commerce, except vehicles:
- Designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers, including the driver, for compensation; or
- Designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
- Used in transporting hazardous material, requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation;
Commercial Vehicle Driver Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.