Motor Carrier Act Overtime Exemptions

A recent case, of interest to interstate motor carrier employers.

A federal 3rd Circuit court decided a case, Resch v. Krapf’s Coaches, Inc. The employer (Krapf’s Coaches) was a Pennsylvania motor coach company that provided shuttle services on set routes, some intrastate, some interstate. Krapf’s drivers sued Krapf for federal overtime wages; some Krapf drivers drove wholly intrastate, others drove interstate. Krapf claimed that it was exempt from paying overtime to any driver per the Motor Carrier Act overtime exemption. The court decided that ALL drivers, whether they drove intrastate or interstate, were exempt from overtime per the Motor Carrier Act overtime exemption.

The Court’s decision focused on whether a driver could reasonably expect to drive interstate work. To answer this question, the Court considered:

  1. The carrier (Krapf) in fact operated interstate;

  2. The drivers could be assigned to drive interstate (even though some only drove intrastate);

  3. The carrier maintained a written company policy which informed drivers of the possibility of interstate driving;

  4. ALL drivers could legally drive interstate, i.e., the carrier complied with federal regulations for interstate drivers such as requiring a valid CDL.

Bottom line: To enhance your Motor Carrier Act overtime exemption for ALL of your drivers, it appears that ALL of your drivers should have the “reasonable expectation of driving interstate,” including, for example, Krapf’s written policy informing all drivers of the possibility of interstate driving, even if some drivers only drive intrastate. Better yet, suggest all drivers be licensed to drive interstate and occasionally drive interstate.