“Typically, trucks are considered a vehicle of interstate commerce,” Stewart says. “Regulators have defined that historically by weight. If you are involved in interstate commerce, you don’t fall under state wage and hour rules, you’re governed by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA has an exemption for certain truck drivers, but the courts have recently reexamined that rule and stated that it is too broad.”
Essentially, those people who work in or on trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds fall under the Motor Carrier Act Exemption, meaning they have not typically been eligible for overtime. Those people who work in or on trucks that are around 10,000 pounds or under and do not cross state lines could be eligible for overtime. This means drivers of armored vehicles - and other people who work within such vehicles, such as guards and bag men - could be eligible for overtime compensation.
“The majority of people who are working in or driving armored trucks and are putting in more than 40 hours a week are entitled to back overtime pay,” Stewart says.“What’s interesting is that several types of transportation industry employees are now also eligible for overtime. Local bus drivers who are doing city routes and not crossing state lines would fall under the definition.”
Basically, if you work in or on a vehicle that weighs less than 10 tons and you do not cross state lines for that work, if you work more than 40 hours a week, you should be paid overtime. Furthermore, if you are required by your employer to take your lunch break in the vehicle, that lunch break should be paid time.
And, workers who drive larger vehicles but do not drive them across state lines might also be eligible for overtime pay.
Employees who were misclassified as exempt from overtime pay under the Motor Carrier Act Exemption within the past two years may be eligible to file a lawsuit against their employer. This includes people who service or work on armored trucks and those who work on larger vehicles that do not cross state lines.
“These employees should not wait to file a lawsuit,” Stewart says. “The law will change, so they should contact an attorney to ensure they don’t lose their valuable legal rights.”