Possible Application of Overtime Rules
ISELIN, NJ – The 2005 highway bill may have inadvertently provided a new right to overtime pay for drivers of autos and trucks under 10,001 lbs., according to the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA). The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally requires time-and-a-half pay for work in excess of 40 hours per week. The overtime requirement, however, does not apply to employees who could come under the authority of DOT’s hour-of-service (HOS) regulations. Although, DOT has generally not applied the HOS rules to drivers of vehicles less than 10,001 lbs., the agency had the authority to do so and thus such drivers were not covered by the FLSA overtime requirement.
Last year, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users amended the definition of private motor carrier to specifically apply to vehicles weighing 10,001 lbs. or greater. This change eliminated DOT’s authority to apply the HOS regulation to drivers of vehicles weighing less than 10,001 lbs. and inadvertently changed the FLSA. As a result, the Department of Labor’s Solicitor’s Office has concluded that drivers who operate a commercial motor vehicle under 10,001 lbs., including automobiles, may now have a right to overtime pay under the FLSA. NAFA is working with others to seek a legislative correction to this problem.