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Prepare to pay overtime to some delivery drivers

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in Human Resources

You can no longer rely on the "motor carrier exemption" in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to avoid paying overtime to delivery drivers who use vans and pickup trucks on their routes.

Reason: Congress amended the Motor Carrier Act last year to change the definition of "motor vehicle" to "commercial motor vehicle." That means the FLSA's motor carrier exemption, which relies on that definition, now applies only to delivery drivers of commercial vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds.

Bottom line: You may need to revise your labor budget and pay overtime if your delivery drivers use lighter vans and pickups.

Recent case: Ray Dell'Orfano, a delivery driver for Ikon Office Solutions, drove a small van supplied by his employer. Ikon didn't pay him overtime because it relied on the FLSA's motor carrier exemption.

After the Motor Carrier Act was amended, Dell'Orfano sued for overtime. He reasoned the van wasn't a commercial vehicle, so he no longer was exempt. The court agreed and will now consider how much back pay Ikon owes him. (Dell'Orfano v. Ikon Office Solutions, MD GA, 2006)

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