(CN) – Truck drivers in Texas are not entitled to overtime pay, the 5th Circuit ruled, because they fall under a motor carrier exception to federal labor law.
Staff leasing company Dillon Resources Inc. hired truckers to haul sand, gravel and crushed rock to and from mines and quarries for Sunset Ennis and Sunset Logistics.
The drivers filed a class action against Dillon and the Sunset companies, accusing them of encouraging drivers to work unpaid overtime by penalizing them for failing to complete their deliveries on time.
A federal judge rejected their claims, explaining that the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act do not apply to jobs regulated by the Secretary of Transportation.
This exemption applies to carriers who cross state lines.
The trucking companies argued that the exemption applied to Dillon drivers, because they often hauled loads to other states. But the drivers insisted that this was not always the case, as not all assignments involved interstate travel.
Their argument failed to sway the federal appeals court in New Orleans, which noted that “any driver could have been assigned to an interstate trip.”
“Therefore, the Secretary could retain jurisdiction over their activities, and they are exempt from receiving overtime pay,” Judge Carl Stewart wrote, affirming dismissal of the class action.