Beware seeking exemptions under Motor Carrier Act

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

Some employers think they can classify truck drivers as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by relying on the federal Motor Car­rier Act (MCA). But that’s tricky. To be covered by the MCA, the drivers must cross state lines while doing their jobs.

Recent case: When Sana Butcher and Edward Jones took jobs with Pot-O-Gold, they were paid by the hour and received regular overtime pay. They transported and cleaned portable toilets, all within Texas.

When business slowed, the company concluded they had misclassified the drivers and said they were exempt under the MCA. That meant they got a daily lump sum instead of hourly pay.

They sued, alleging FLSA violations. The court agreed that they were not covered by the MCA as they didn’t cross state lines. (Butcher v. Pot-O-Gold, No. 4:10-CV-01376, SD TX, 2011)

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