Short-haul truckers working for oilfield service or construction companies who are paid by the load, with no extra compensation for hours worked above 40 in a week, may have a claim for unpaid overtime. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt workers must be paid one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for each hour worked above forty per week. Truck drivers who transport goods across state lines, are generally not entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA because they fall within the statute’s “motor carrier exemption.” However, employees of a motor carrier that engages wholly in intrastate commerce are subject to the Secretary of Labor’s jurisdiction, and consequently to the overtime and maximum hours provisions of the FLSA.
Short-haul truck drivers who haul oilfield equipment from site-to-site or processed water from a drill site to a salt-water disposal facility may have a claim for unpaid overtime. Similarly, short-haul truckers working for construction companies may also have claims for unpaid overtime. Often, these drivers are paid on a “per load” basis, and are not given extra pay when they work more than forty hours per week. Short-haul truckers in the Permian Basin (Midland, Odessa, Monahans, Pecos and surrounding areas) are commonly paid on a per-load basis without extra pay for overtime hours. A cement supplier agreed to pay more than $1.5 million in overtime pay to its truckers after it allegedly failed to compensate “pay-per-load” employees with premium pay for hours that they worked more than 40 in a workweek. Similarly, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a favorable ruling for wrecker drivers in their lawsuit to recover unpaid overtime. See Johnson v. Hix Wrecker Service, Inc., 651 F.3d 658 (7th Cir. 2011).
If you are a short-haul truck driver and you have not been paid overtime within the past three years, you may be entitled to thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime, an equal amount in liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees. If you have questions about overtime pay, call attorney Josh Borsellino at 432.242.7118 or 817.908.9861 or fill out the contact form for a free evaluation.