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Texas Drivers Exempt From Overtime Under Motor Carrier Exemption

Rejecting a challenge to Motor Carrier Act exempt status, Judge Keith P. Ellison of the Southern District of Texas recently ruled that drivers for a meat distribution company were subject to DOT regulation and engaged in interstate commerce driving trucks with gross vehicle weight excess of 10,000 pounds and thus exempt. Vanzzini v. Action Meat Distribs., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13781 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 31, 2014).

Plaintiffs in Vanzzini argued that documentation produced in discovery created a question of fact concerning whether some of Defendant’s trucks weighed less than 10,000 pounds, taking them outside of MCA exemption coverage under the Technical Corrections Act.  The uncontroverted evidence on summary judgment, however, established that most drivers drove exclusively qualifying vehicles with gross vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more and “either actually were, or could have been, given assignments to drive across state lines.”  The Court also noted in applying the exemptions that the drivers had valid commercial driver’s licenses, received the relevant regulations (including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), were required to log their time driving, were required to make pre-trip DOT inspections, and to undergo drug tests.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020


About this Author

Noel Tripp Principal Employment lawyer at Jackson Lewis Law Firm

Noel P. Tripp is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Since joining Jackson Lewis as a summer associate in May 2005, he has practiced exclusively in employment law.

Mr. Tripp has been involved in matters pending before federal and state courts and administrative agencies covering the gamut of employment-related matters from discrimination and workplace harassment to wage/hour disputes and affirmative-action compliance. His principal focus is the defense of class and collective action...