Truck Drivers & Overtime

Overtime Pay Laws for Truck Drivers

Congress recently changed the laws of overtime for drivers of vehicles with a Vehicle Gross Weight Rating of 10,001 lbs. or less. Drivers of these vehicles were generally exempt from the federal law prior to August 2005 (if they carried goods across state lines, or if the goods originated out of state). However, now these drivers are not exempt and are covered by the federal overtime law. This means they should be receiving overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week.

This change in the law will have a very significant impact for Route Delivery Drivers (for example, Newspaper Route Drivers and sales managers who oversee drivers but also handle routes) and repair persons (those who carry parts that originated out of state). This change in the law has not been recognized by many employers, who continue to treat drivers of these vehicles as exempt, simply because they are carrying goods which originated out of state.

Other truck drivers, generally over-the-road drivers, may still be exempt.  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides an overtime exemption for employees who are regulated by the Department of Transportation.  The exemption applies to employees who are:

  • Employed by a motor carrier or private motor carrier (generally defined as a person providing motor vehicle transportation for compensation or one shipping goods by motor vehicle to further a commercial enterprise)
  • Driver’s helpers, loaders, or mechanics whose duties affect the safety of operation of motor vehicles in interstate commerce
  • Not covered by the small vehicle exception (if the employee drives or works on vehicles that weigh less than 10,000 pounds, the exemption does not apply)

If you believe that you may have a claim or would like to get more information, please call us at 713-782-LAW1 (5291) or 1-866-559-0400, email us at or submit your information using our convenient Case Evaluation form.

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