Truck driver pay laws can be a little confusing – and in some cases, trucking companies fail to pay drivers the overtime they deserve.
That’s because the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, has a Motor Carrier Exemption. But not all drivers fall under that category.
If you’re a truck driver, you need to know how truck driver pay laws affect you specifically – and that’s what you’ll learn here.
Truck Driver Pay Laws
Some truck drivers are considered independent contractors – but many others are not. Independent contractors don’t collect overtime pay, but employees are eligible for it (provided they work the correct number of hours). Naturally, this benefits trucking companies and leaves misclassified workers out in the cold.
If your employer says you’re an independent contractor but you meet any of these conditions, you could be misclassified:
- You can’t refuse loads
- Your employer provides your truck
- Your employer deducts lease payments, insurance costs and maintenance costs from your wages
- You cannot negotiate what you get paid per load
- You only work for one employer
If you do meet any of those conditions, you may need to talk to an employment lawyer. You could be eligible to collect overtime wages that your employer hasn’t paid you.
Related: Contractor vs. Employee: What Are the Differences?
What is the Small Vehicle Exception?
The Motor Carrier Overtime Exemption doesn’t apply to drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders or mechanics on certain “small vehicles.” If you fall under one of the following categories, FLSA applies to you:
- Your work is as a driver, driver’s helper, loader or mechanic “affecting the safety of operation of motor vehicles” that weigh 10,000 pounds or less, and you transport them on public highways in interstate or foreign commerce, unless the vehicle is:
- A) Designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers, including you, for compensation, or
B) Designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and not used to transport passengers for compensation, or
C) Used in transporting hazardous material, requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation
- You perform duties on vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or less
What if Your Employer Has Misclassified You to Take Advantage of Truck Driver Pay Laws?
For most people in situations like yours, it makes sense to talk to a Glendale employment lawyer. Because truck driver pay laws can be complicated, and because it can be tough to get through to a large employer, it might be a good idea for you, too.
Related: 3 Things Most People Don’t Know About Unpaid Wages
It’s important to remember that not all truck drivers are exempt from overtime pay – even if your employer says that you are.
Salary misclassification is a serious problem. If your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor when you’re really an employee – even if you’ve signed a contract that says you’re an independent contractor – you may have a case. Employees are entitled to special protections and privileges that independent contractors aren’t, such as:
- Waiting time
- On-call time
- Rest and meal breaks
- Sleeping time and other activities
- Lectures, meetings and training programs
- Travel time (but not all travel time)
Related: FLSA Regulations on Pay
You may need to work with an unpaid wages lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Your attorney will ask you several questions, including why you believe your employer has misclassified you (such as not letting you refuse loads). Additionally, you’ll need to show your attorney time logs that document the hours you’ve worked. That way, he can determine how much overtime pay you should be entitled to if your employer did misclassify your salary.
Do You Need to Talk to an Employment Lawyer About Truck Driver Pay Laws?
If you need to talk to a lawyer about truck driver pay laws and how they apply to you, we’re here to help.
Call us at 818-230-8380 right now for a free consultation. You’ll talk to a caring, compassionate and experienced employment lawyer who understands what you’re going through – and who knows how to help.