In Hayward v. IBI Armored Servs., Inc.. – F.3d –, 2020 WL 1647176 (2d. Cir., April 3, 2020), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned a decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of new York dismissing the overtime component of a claim for wage theft brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law. In the case, the lower court held that the Fair Labor Standard Act specifically made the Plaintiffs, truck drivers for an armored car business, ineligible for any overtime wages because of the motor carrier exemption. In overturning the district court, the Second Circuit emphasized that the New York Labor Law’s overtime-pay provision mandates that all employees be paid at an overtime rate of one and one-half times the minimum wage even if the employees fall within the motor carrier exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This is a monumental decision, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where truck drivers and other logistical employees are likely working longer hours to make sure supply chains remain intact and people have the supplies they need. There is an exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act which states an employee driving a truck in excess of 10,000.00 pounds is not entitled to overtime compensation. You can read more about the specifics of what exactly falls in the motor carrier exemption on the Department of Labor website. What this new Second Circuit decision means is that even New York truck drivers who fall within the motor carrier exemption precluding overtime at the rate of one and a half times their usual hourly rate are now entitled to overtime compensation at one and a half times the minimum wage for the State of New York.
If you or a loved one are working long hours as a New York truck driver and are not receiving overtime compensation, please contact our office for a legal consultation.