The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates interstate truckers’ hours under the Motor Carrier Act, not the Fair Labor Standards Act (). And loaders, who usually work in just one state, also fall outside the FLSA if the work involves the safe transport of cargo they load in interstate commerce.
Recent case: Arnold Garza and several other drivers and loaders who worked for Smith International sued over unpaid overtime wages. They claimed they should have been covered by the FLSA.
The court disagreed. It was clear the drivers worked in interstate transportation. It was also clear the loaders had discretion to place cargo to maximize safety and minimize accident risks while the trucks traveled from state to state. They were therefore covered by the Motor Carrier Act and not entitled to. (Garza v. Smith International, No. 10-100, SD TX, 2011)