There a Positive Ruling on Carriers offering Sleeper Wage Compensation

New guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor on trucking wage compensation could provide millions of dollars in wage and litigation relief for employers while drivers could see cutbacks in pay.” – According to the article in freightwaves.com and its author John Gallagher .  The New guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor on trucking wage compensation could provide millions of dollars in wage and litigation relief for employers while drivers could see cutbacks in pay. The department’s Wage and Hour Division issued an opinion letter on July 22 changing its stance on employers’ pay obligations to drivers for time spent while drivers are in the sleeper berth. Here are some updates on a positive ruling on carrier offering sleeper wage compensation.

Under prior guidance, the division interpreted the relevant regulations to mean that while sleeping time may be excluded from hours worked (and thus ineligible for pay), only up to 8 hours of sleeping time could be excluded in a trip 24 hours or longer, and no sleeping time may be excluded for trips under 24 hours, according to the Department of Labor.

But the wage division has found that this interpretation “is unnecessarily burdensome for employers and instead adopts a straightforward reading of the plain language of the applicable regulation, under which the time drivers are relieved of all duties and permitted to sleep in a sleeper berth is presumptively non-working time that is not compensable.”

The opinion letter noted, however, that there may be times where a driver who retires to a sleeping berth is unable to effectively sleep or use the time for other personal reasons – when required to remain on-call or must do required paperwork, for example. “In such cases, the time is compensable hours worked,” the division stated.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) welcomed the opinion, maintaining that it’s consistent with “decades-old” Department of Labor regulations as well as a long-held understanding by the trucking industry. The association pointed out that the letter also clears up confusion created by recent court decisions calling into question how trucking companies compensate for sleeper berth time.

“The department’s Wage and Hour Division issued an opinion letter on July 22 changing its stance on employers’ pay obligations to drivers for time spent while drivers are in the sleeper berth.” – Gallagher also wrote in his article

Read the full story HERE

Source and credits: freightwaves.com / John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent / itrucker.com and Mario Pawlowski CEO @ itrucker.com