Thanks to the mix of federal and state wage laws that may apply to you, determining when you are owed overtime pay as a commercial driver can be a complicated endeavor. Unfortunately, whether due to inadvertent mistakes or intentional malfeasance, many companies that employ commercial drivers fail to adhere to applicable overtime regulations, meaning their employees miss out on compensation they are owed under the law.
If you suspect your employer has denied you overtime pay unlawfully, talking to an overtime violation attorney about your legal options may be in your best interests. Commercial driver overtime violations in Chardon lead to extensive financial losses for workers each and every year, and guidance from a legal professional could help ensure you do not fall victim to this all-too-common problem.
The question of whether a commercial driver should receive overtime pay varies depending on the exact job duties a driver performs and where he or she performs them. Under state overtime laws, employees who work in an executive, managerial, or administrative capacity are never owed overtime pay. Employers may choose to pay these employees straight time or half-time for overtime hours worked, but they are under no legal obligation to provide the time-and-a-half overtime pay owed to non-exempt workers.
Additionally, if a commercial truck driver operates a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 10,000 pounds, or if he or she crosses state lines at any point during the performance of normal job duties, the employee is subject to the wage and hour rules established under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act rather than state-level wage and hour laws. Under this federal law, truck drivers employed by motor carriers and motor private carriers are explicitly exempt from overtime pay.
However, truck drivers who operate vehicles under 10,000 pounds and/or operate solely within the state are eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a single workweek. Support staff workers, such as mechanics and loaders, are eligible for overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a single workweek, as well. If a Chardon commercial driving company fails to provide overtime pay to any of these types of employees or misclassifies a worker as exempt from overtime pay, it may have committed an actionable overtime violation.
Understandably, filing a lawsuit against an employer for overtime violations can seem like an expensive hassle, especially in light of the income workers may already have lost due to the violation in question. Fortunately, federal law allows for “fee-shifting” in successful FLSA claims, which means that the responsibility of paying attorney’s fees gets passed on to the defendant.
Other recoverable damages in cases based on commercial driver overtime violations in Chardon may include treble damages for missed work income and interest on inappropriately withheld overtime pay. A qualified attorney can go into more detail about what outcomes may be possible in a particular situation.
While not all commercial drivers are eligible to receive overtime pay, those who are eligible have a legal right to demand the full value of their wages for the time they have put in at work. If your employer has violated your rights in this regard, you should strongly consider reaching out to legal counsel.
Fighting back against commercial driver overtime violations in Chardon could be easier with help from Tittle & Perlmuter. Call today to schedule an initial meeting.