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Total Articles: 10

Fifth Circuit Weighs in on Motor Carrier Act Overtime Exemption and Small Vehicle Exception

It is commonly understood that employees bear the burden of proving that they are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and, to avoid minimum wage or overtime obligations, the employer bears the burden of proving that an exemption to the FLSA applies. One such exemption – common in the transport and energy industries – is the exemption under the federal Motor Carrier Act (MCA). If an employer can demonstrate that workers are covered by the MCA exemption,1 then the FLSA’s overtime requirements will not apply to those workers—with one major caveat.

Toll Road Ahead: Fourth Circuit Rules Mixed-Fleet Interstate Truck Drivers May Be Entitled to Overtime Pay

Despite the overtime exemption provided by the Motor Carrier Act, interstate trucking employers who operate “mixed fleets” – those with vehicles both over and under 10,000 pounds – may owe overtime pay to drivers of the smaller vehicles, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled. Schilling v. Schmidt Baking Co., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23257 (4th Cir. Nov. 17, 2017). The Fourth Circuit has jurisdiction over Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Federal Court Finds Intrastate Travel Part of “Stream of Commerce,” Applies Motor Carrier Exemption to Truck Driver

Although applicability of the Motor Carrier Act (MCA) exemption from overtime is predicated on “interstate commerce,” interstate commerce can include wholly intrastate travel by a covered employee when shipped in a “practical continuity of movement” across state lines. A new opinion highlights this doctrine. Kennedy v. Equity Transp. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143565 (N.D.N.Y Oct. 22, 2015).

Third Circuit Upholds the Motor Carrier Exemption for Drivers Who Did Not, But Reasonably Could Have Been Expected to, Cross State Lines

Are drivers of a motor carrier who rarely or never drive the carrier's interstate routes covered by the motor carrier exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act? Yes, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Resch v. Krapf's Coaches, Inc., Case No. 14-3679 (3d Cir. May 12, 2015).

Oil Field Employers Post-McMaster: Still Searching for Clarity on the TCA’s Impact on the Motor Carrier Act Exemption

In McMaster v. Eastern Armored Services, Inc., No. 14-1010 (March 11, 2015), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued one of the first federal appellate court opinions discussing the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (TCA). The TCA is an uncodified amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) that, according to the Third Circuit, creates a “carveout” from the Motor Carrier Act Exemption (MCAE). Under the MCAE, professional motor carriers are generally exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA. The Third Circuit explained that the TCA “waives the exemption for motor carrier employees who, in whole or in part, drive vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds.”

eLABORate: Fifth Circuit Broadens Ability of Employers to Satisfy Motor Carrier Act Exemption

In a recent decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Allen v. Coil Tubing, held that a court should look at whether the duties of a class of employees’—rather than the duties of individual or some sub-set of employees’—substantially affect the safety of interstate transportation, and affirmed a district court’s ruling that employees of an oil well service company were exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) under the Motor Carrier Act (“MCA”).

Eighth Circuit Holds Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Determines FLSA Motor Carrier Exemption

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an employee who drives a motor vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds falls within the “motor carrier exemption” of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the Eighth Circuit, which issued the decision in McCall v. Disabled American Veterans, et al. on July 31, 2013, an employee falls within the exemption regardless of the actual weight of the vehicle when he or she is driving it.

USWHD Memo Addresses FLSA "Motor Carrier" Exemption.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(b)(1) provides an overtime exemption for "any employee with respect to whom the Secretary of Transportation has power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service pursuant to" a specific section in Title 49 of the U.S. Code dealing with federal motor-carrier law. Employers who have relied upon or followed this so-called "motor-carrier" exemption will remember that an inconspicuous 2005 amendment to Title 49 substantially narrowed its scope. A further revision in 2008 introduced yet other questions and uncertainties.

Congress Amends Motor Carrier Exemption: Both Helps and Hurts Employers.

Recent legislation appears to have narrowed the scope of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's "motor carrier" overtime exemption yet again. The "SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008" (TCA) further restricts the classes of employees who might qualify for that exemption. A moderate positive is that TCA also limits liability with respect to certain overtime violations occurring before August 10, 2006 that resulted from exemption changes caused by the earlier "Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users" (SAFETEA-LU).

Update: DOL To Begin Enforcing Narrowed Motor-Carrier Exemption.

We previously reported that under-the-radar Congressional action in 2005 substantially limited the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's Section 13(b)(1) "motor carrier" overtime exemption. This exemption applies to drivers, driver's helpers, loaders, and mechanics for whom the U.S. Transportation Secretary can set qualifications and maximum service hours.