A tow truck driver overtime class action lawsuit may be an option for hourly and salaried tow truck drivers, who work over 40 hours a week. Workers who drive tow trucks often spend many hours behind the wheel, assisting customers who need a way to get their broken down vehicles to a mechanic. For many of these hard-working employees, overtime pay is required to make ends meet at home. There are federal and state laws in place that are designed to protect employees from employers who may choose to withhold or reduce the required wages that have been rightfully earned by workers in a wide range of industries. These laws also protect underpaid workers from retaliation if they pursue a claim, and an unpaid overtime lawsuit may be an option for a tow truck driver to recover the compensation he or she deserves.
For more information, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated unpaid overtime lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
How Does Overtime Work?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division, overtime is any extra work performed in addition to the required 40-hour work week. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), while there are some exemptions set forth in the FLSA as to who can and cannot receive overtime pay, employers are generally required to comply with the law or face legal consequences. The FLSA also requires that an employee’s standard rate of pay can’t be below minimum wage. When overtime is owed, an employer must pay an employee one and a half his or her regular wage.
Are Tow Truck Drivers Exempt?
Sometimes, a tow truck driver may be exempt from the protection of the FLSA, the DOL states, if he or she falls under the motor carrier exemption. Employees who work for companies who do business across state lines may not be eligible for overtime pay, according to the motor carrier exemption. For example, if a tow truck driver regularly travels from one state to another to pick up customers and transport them back across state lines, overtime pay provisions set forth by the FLSA may not apply.
According to the exemption, if a driver does not make interstate drives but works for a company that advertises interstate services, the driver will probably be exempt. In addition, other factors may also be involved, including if the employer is under the authorization of the U.S. Department of Transportation. That said, it will fall upon the employer to prove that the employee is exempt.
The Misclassification of Employees
In some cases, employers may attempt to get around paying their employees overtime by misclassifying their workers as independent contractors, since this classification makes the employees exempt from overtime pay because they supposedly work for themselves. In 2013, The DOL launched an investigation into a Houston, Texas, towing company when employees claimed that they were being denied overtime pay. It was discovered that at least three drivers were not paid overtime as they had been misclassified as independent contractors. As a result, the company was ordered to pay over $157,000 in back pay to more than 70 drivers.
According to the DOL, an employee is dependent upon his or her employer, unlike an independent contractor. A tow truck driver who owns or leases his or her own truck would likely be considered an independent contractor, but one who drives solely for one company and has a permanent relationship with that company would likely be considered an employee and therefore, would be eligible for overtime pay.
How Tow Truck Driver Overtime Class Action Cases Are Handled
If a judge determines that an employee is not exempt from protection from FLSA, there are several options for compensation. In addition to filing a claim with the DOL, a person can also file a private suit against his or her employer for unpaid wages and liquidated damages, as well as the cost of hiring an attorney and legal fees. In some cases, the Secretary of Labor may also step in to assist in the recovery of lost overtime wages.
How a Tow Truck Driver Overtime Class Action Can Help
Federal law, and many state laws, require employers to pay employees for overtime at a rate of not less than 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. These same laws protect underpaid workers from retaliation if they pursue a claim, and an unpaid wages lawyer can help an employee recover the compensation he or she deserves.
The Time You Have to Pursue a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.