Truckers and overtime pay - Learn about the Federal Motor Carrier Exemption under the FLSA

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Are truckers eligible for overtime pay? Learn FLSA status for truck drivers, delivery workers and route helpers.

Employees who work as truck drivers or for the delivery of goods and services are often told that they are not eligible for overtime pay, but the federal labor laws tell a different story. Most truck drivers, route helpers, and local drivers and deliverymen are considered to be engaged in commerce. The FLSA protects workers who are engaged in the transportation and shipping industries and who are engaged in commerce.

Truckers are generally involved in the delivery of goods among and between the states. This type of work involves the movement of persons or things and the FLSA has specific rules defining the status of employees in the trucking and transportation industry. The Fair Labor Standards Act states the following:

"An employee whose engagement in interstate or foreign commerce is regular and recurring is covered by the act, even if that engagement is small."

Employees are generally engaged in commerce when they perform:

• work related to the actual movement of commerce,
• work that regularly uses the channels of commerce,
• work related to the instrumentalities of commerce.

Many transportation companies fail to pay overtime wages to employees and, many times, some companies will also try and argue that truck drivers and delivery employees are independent contractors, but they have a difficult time proving this in court.

Truckers and the Federal Motor Carrier Exemption

Only drivers of commercial vehicles are exempt from overtime, which could mean more money in your pocket if you don't operate a vehicle with the following guidelines, according to the FLSA:
  • The vehicle has a gross weight rating/gross vehicle weight of at least 10,001 pounds;
  • The vehicle is designed or used to transport more than eight passengers (including the driver) for compensation;
  • The vehicle is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation;
  • The vehicle is used to transport goods that are deemed hazardous by the Secretary of Transportation.

Truck drivers in Texas and nationwide should be aware of the overtime laws that affect their FLSA status. The specific facts of your employment can determine whether or not you are owed overtime by your employer. If you are involved in this industry, you should protect your paycheck by contacting a labor lawyer today to get clear on your FLSA status.

Many drivers are often responsible for planning their own delivery routes and usually are given a deadline. Many times, drivers end up scheduling their delivery routes before their shift even begins. We have represented many employees for overtime violations in this industry. Read our Case Results.

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