As a Bus/Truck Driver, Am I Entitled to Overtime Under California Law?
If you’re a bus driver or truck driver in Northern California, you deserve to be paid fairly for your work. But does the law entitle you to receive overtime for working certain jobs? This is a trickier question than you might realize. Knowing your rights is essential, since you can’t necessarily count on your employer or on an outside regulatory agency to ensure fair play.
The problem is that California and Federal overtime laws are incredibly nuanced and difficult to understand, even for well-educated drivers who study the law. Both federal overtime and California overtime laws can apply, qualifying you for overtime pay under certain situations.
In general, truck drivers, bus drivers, and other California employees should be paid overtime pay, unless an exemption applies. A tricky caveat: most bus and truck drivers in CA are exempt under Golden State Law for overtime, per laws such as Title 49, Sections 395.1 to 395.13 of The United States Department of Transportation Code of Federal Regulations.
So no overtime? Not necessarily!
Even if you’re exempt from CA overtime, you might be entitled to federal overtime, if you meet other conditions. For instance, if you drive a large truck (over 26,001 pounds); or if you drive a farm vehicle; or if you drive a truck that’s over 40 feet long, you’re exempt from CA law and you must look to federal law to see whether you qualify for overtime per those laws.
A dizzying number of factors can come into play; drivers can be regulated by the Department of Labor or the Department of Transportation (but not both!). Numerous exemptions from CA overtime law might apply, depending on the nature and extent of your business and vehicle.
Trying to “parse” these laws by yourself can be a frustrating process, to say the least. Moreover, if your employer does ultimately owe you overtime – but fails to deliver it – you may need to go to great lengths, legally speaking, to ensure a fair and accurate pay day.
Your time is valuable. Your work is valuable. You need to be paid fairly for your labor, but making the law work for you is unfortunately not as simple as it should be.
The good news is that the team here at the San Francisco Law Offices of Daniel Vega can help you manage your problems and make smarter, effective decisions to ensure that you get treated fairly and paid appropriately. Call us today at 415-287-6200, or find out more about our San Francisco Law office here online.