US Department of Labor recovers $139K in back wages for 28 drivers after Florida motor carrier misapplied exemption, denied overtime
Employer: Juarez M&M Construction Inc., operating as Juarez Construction
Investigation site: 1859 Constitution Drive, Navarre, FL 32566
Investigation findings: Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the employer – which provides clean-up or dirt delivery to residential or construction sites in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties – failed to pay the correct overtime to employees after misapplying a motor carrier exemption.
The exemption can apply to drivers, driver’s helpers, loaders or mechanics employed by a carrier engaged in interstate commerce and not covered by the small vehicle exemption. Since none of Juarez Construction’s drivers crossed state lines, the exemption did not apply. As such, the employer should have paid the affected employees overtime pay for hours over 40 in a workweek, as the Fair Labor Standards Act requires.
Back Wages Recovered: $139,795 for 28 workers.
Quote: “To claim an exemption, an employer must make sure the situation meets all the necessary criteria. This case shows that a mistaken use of an exemption can quickly become a costly mistake,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Wildalí De Jesús in Orlando, Florida. “The Wage and Hour Division encourages workers and employers to reach out to us for help understanding their rights and responsibilities under the law.”
Background: Employers can contact the Wage and Hour Division at its toll-free number, 1-866-4-US-WAGE. The division also offers online resources for employers, such as a fact sheet on Fair Labor Standards Act wage laws overtime requirements. Workers who feel they may not be getting the wages they earned may contact a Wage and Hour Division expert in their state through a list and interactive online map on the agency’s website. Workers and employers alike can help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s timesheet app for free. Learn more about Wage and Hour Division.