The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime, and other employment standards, affecting both private and public sectors of employment. Many provisions within the FLSA permit employers to avoid paying their employees minimum wage and/or overtime. One of these provisions is the Motor Carrier Act (MCA).
The MCA exemption excludes employees who are within the authority of the Secretary of Transportation to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service under Section 204 of the MCA. However, there is an exception to the exemption for small vehicles. The employer bears the burden of demonstrating that its employees are covered by the MCA.
Which Employees Are Covered by the MCA?
Employees covered by the MCA must be employed by a motor carrier or motor private carrier and work as “drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders, or mechanics whose duties affect the safety of operation of motor vehicles in transportation on public highways in interstate or foreign commerce.”
They also cannot be covered by the small vehicle exception. The employee’s duties must include the performance of safety-affecting activities on a motor vehicle in transportation on public highways in interstate or foreign commerce. The transportation must be in interstate commerce or connect with an intrastate terminal to continue an interstate journey of goods that have not come to a final destination.
What Is the Small Vehicle Exception?
The MCA does not apply to employees of a motor carrier or motor private carrier if:
- The employee’s work as a driver, driver’s helper, loader, or mechanic involves motor vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less in transportation on public highways in interstate or foreign commerce.
However, there are three vehicles not included in this exception:
- Vehicles designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers, including the driver for compensation.
- Vehicles designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and not used to transport passengers for compensation.
- Vehicles used in transporting hazardous materials, requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation.
Our Employment Law Team Is Here to Advance Your Rights
If you feel your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act have been violated, or if you have any other questions regarding your employment rights, please contact the experienced Birmingham employment law attorneys at Michel | King. We have been serving clients throughout Alabama for more than 40 years, and we will gladly put this valuable experience to work for you.
You can contact us today either online or by calling us at (205) 265-1880. Our compassionate and knowledgeable legal professionals are here to serve you.