A U.S. District Court in Arkansas recently ruled that motor carriers must pay drivers minimum wage for all hours worked, including time that’s spent waiting or off-duty. This decision could have a large impact on drivers’ wages, especially as carriers are increasing pay to attract employees during the busy holiday season.
In its decision, the court found that the expected duties of a commercial driver involve time spent outside of the DOT’s 14-hour driving limit—such as waiting for shipments to load or unload. As a result, carriers need to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and pay drivers for all of their working time, even if they’re technically off-duty.
Other court cases have also ruled in favor of paying drivers for all of their working time instead of just for the hours they’re driving. However, because this ruling only applies to the $7.25 national minimum wage for a full workweek, carriers that offer higher wages likely won’t be impacted.
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