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News | Mar 11, 2015

THIRD CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS HOLDS DRIVERS ENTITLED TO OVERTIME PAY

On March 11, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important decision in a case titled McMaster v. Eastern Armored Services, Inc. brought by Winebrake & Santillo on behalf of armored care drivers and guards.

The company paid the Driver/Guards their regular hourly rate (or “straight-time”) for all hours worked and did not pay overtime premium compensation (or “time and one-half”) for hours worked over 40 in a week.  The Driver/Guards drove vehicles in a “mixed fleet” that has some vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, and others that weighed less than 10,000 pounds.  The company asserted that the Driver/Guards were not entitled to overtime pay under the Motor Carrier Act Exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  See 29 U.S.C. § 213(b)(1).

In March of 2013, the District of New Jersey held that the named plaintiff was entitled to overtime premium pay because she did not qualify of the Motor Carrier Act Exemption.  The District Court reached this conclusion even though Ms. McMaster spent the majority of her time driving vehicles that weighed more than 10,000 pounds.  A copy of the District Court opinion is attached.

The company appealed.  But the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision, holding that under 2008 amendments to the Motor Carrier Act, the named plaintiff was entitled to overtime premium pay because she was driving vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds as part of her employment.  A copy of the Third Circuit’s opinion is attached.

This is an important victory for drivers who do not receive overtime premium pay.  If you one of your friends or family members worked as a driver and did not receive overtime premium pay, we would be happy to provide a free and confidential consultation.

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