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Armored Car Drivers Unpaid Overtime Claims Allowed

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Newark, NJ: A recent judgement in an unpaid wages and overtime collective action filed by an armored car driver against Eastern Armored Services Inc, has resulted in a victory not only for the plaintiff, but possibly for thousands of other drivers similarly situated across the US.

The complaint claimed that Easter Armored Services Inc was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and that the driver should be paid overtime. The Third Circuit agreed, finding that the defendant had improperly classified Ashley McMaster as ineligible for the additional pay under the Motor Carrier Act Exemption of the FLSA.

The panel, consisting of three judges, ruled that McMaster was entitled to overtime pay from her former employer because the nature of her work fit the description of a non-exempt employee under a specific statutory change made to the FLSA in 2008.

McMaster, worked as an hourly employee of Eastern Armored from March 2010 through June 2011. She sued the company in August 2011 claiming she regularly worked in excess of 40 hours per week but was paid "straight time" during those extra hours.

According to the ruling, despite the fact that McMaster was employed in a position that has typically been determined as exempt under the FLSA's Motor Carrier Act (MCA) Exemption, which stipulates that drivers of commercial vehicles can be exempted from overtime pay laws, she met an exception under the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act, enabling drivers, mechanics and other transportation workers who were previously exempt to receive overtime pay if their work partly involves noncommercial vehicles.

The panel went on to state that the exception to the MCA is an express change to the statutory scheme of the FLSA and, regardless of the history of its interpretation, the Corrections Act stipulates an overtime rate of pay for commercial truck drivers who drive a noncommercial vehicle weighing less than 10,000 pounds in whole or in part.

"McMaster' job placed her squarely within the [Technical Corrections Act'] definition of a 'covered employee,'"the court wrote. "McMaster was a driver and guard of commercial armored vehicles, and approximately half of her trips were on vehicles undisputedly lighter than 10,000 pounds."

The ruling could affect similarly situated drivers working for companies such as :

Wells Fargo/Loomis
Dunbar Armored
Security Group
Trinity Armoured Security

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