In the case of Petrone v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., a federal court in Nebraska has ruled that Werner Enterprises is required to compensate student drivers for time spent in sleeper berths in excess of 8 hours in a 24 hour period, compensate student drivers for short rest breaks of 20 minutes or less, and pay them liquidated damages. During the student driver program, student drivers are on the road for approximately 8 weeks and under the supervision of driver trainers. The court found that under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must compensate employees with at least a specified minimum wage for every hour worked. Short rest periods of less than 20 minutes “must be counted as hours worked.” And where an employee is required to report at a place of work at a specific time, time spent waiting to begin is compensable. Under certain conditions an employee is considered to be working even though some of his time is spent in sleeping. And where an employee is on duty for 24 hours or more, the most that can be ascribed to eating and sleeping (non-compensated time) is 8 hours. The court granted Werner drivers summary judgment on their claims. A copy of the case can be found here: Petrone v Werner Enterprises Inc.
If you are a driver and have not been compensated for sleep time, waiting time, or short rest breaks, contact trucker lawyer Robert Boulter for a free consultation at (415) 233-7100 or at [email protected].