Understanding whether truck drivers are exempt from overtime is important to determine if your employer is illegally failing to pay you overtime pay. Many companies mistakenly believe that all truck drivers are exempt from overtime laws, or they purposefully avoid paying overtime to employees who are in the dark about their right to overtime pay. Learning about your rights as a truck driver can help you avoid becoming a victim of overtime violation, including understanding the Motor Carrier Act, stipulations according to the FLSA, and other exemption or non-exemption requirements. Consult a seasoned Texas truck driver overtime lawyer at Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers if you have any questions regarding these requirements.
Exemptions from Overtime
The first step in determining if you’re exempt from overtime is learning whether the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers your employment. You’re most likely covered under the FLSA laws if your employer is:
- A company with an annual dollar volume of sales of $500,000 or more
- A federal, state, or local government agency
- A public or private healthcare facility
- A public or private educational institution
However, there are several provisions and exceptions to these rules. A great way to help determine if your employer is covered is to contact an Austin employment lawyer and ask. Next, you must find out if you’re classified as an “exempt” or “non-exempt” employee according to the FLSA standards.
The Motor Carrier Act (or Motor Carrier Exemption) under the FLSA states that overtime requirements don’t apply if the Secretary of Transportation establishes qualifications and maximum hours for your employer. Motor carrier employees who operate commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds (loaded or unloaded) are also exempt from overtime, according to the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act.
Employee duties exempt from overtime include the performance of safety-affecting activities on a transportation motor vehicle driven on public highways for interstate commerce. This means that interstate truck drivers and their drivers’ helpers, truck loaders, and mechanics are exempt from overtime, regardless of the proportion of activity performed.
An exception to this rule is if the employee’s duties don’t affect the motor carrier’s safety of operation. In general, truck drivers are exempt from overtime based on this rule because they regularly perform safety-affecting activities from within the motor carrier.
How to Tell If You’re Exempt
The number one way to know if you deserve overtime as a truck driver is to consult a knowledgeable Texas truck driver overtime lawyer with the details of your individual situation. He or she can use the appropriate resources to help you understand your rights as a truck driver and can help you file a claim against your employer if he or she has failed to pay you overtime.
Drivers who operate trucks that have a GVWR of over 10,000 pounds and who: 1) carry goods that originated from outside the state in which they drive; or 2) haul goods across state lines, are generally exempt from eligibility for overtime pay. However, if a driver does not cross state lines and is not carrying goods that originated outside the state, then he or she may be entitled to overtime pay. Also, any driver who is exempt from overtime is entitled to overtime pay if, in any workweek, he or she drives, loads, or works on any vehicle that has a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds as part of his or her job duties.
An easy way to find out whether you are entitled to overtime pay is to call the Texas overtime lawyers at Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers at 512-474-7677 for a fast, free telephone consultation.
How to File an Overtime Violation Claim in Texas
If you believe you’re a truck driver who is owed overtime pay, consult with a Texas truck driver overtime attorney to understand your legal options. Just because you’re a truck driver doesn’t mean you’re automatically exempt from overtime pay. While many truck drivers do fall under the Section 13(b)(1) of the FLSA (the Motor Carrier Exemption), there are exceptions to the rule.
If your employer assumes you’re exempt from overtime but you believe otherwise, seek the help of someone who is concerned with your best interests without worrying about retaliation from your employer. Contact Ross • Scalise Employment Lawyers for more information concerning truck drivers and overtime and to discuss your case in greater detail.
The courts decide the fate of overtime violation cases on a case-to-case basis. Don’t assume you don’t have a case of overtime violation just because you work as a truck driver. Consult with our team of experienced employment attorneys to help determine if you have a case against your employer.