Another limousine has been sued for overtime pay!
Traditionally, limousine companies don’t pay overtime. They usually pay a fixed percentage of the fee charged to the customer. Sometimes they pay an hourly rate. Very few pay overtime premiums when their drivers work more than 40 hours.
This tradition comes from the pre-2008 interpretation of the Motor Carriers Act, an exemption to the overtime laws. Simply put, it used to be that limousine companies could take advantage of that exemption. In 2008, that law changed. Now, they can only be considered true “motor carriers” if they carry more than 8 passengers (like in a van!).
While this change in the law was well publicized, many limousine companies did not change their practices. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor conducted investigations and even brought lawsuits against limousine companies on behalf of the drivers who weren’t getting overtime pay. There were also many private lawsuits brought by independent firms.
Recently, another lawsuit was filed against yet another limousine company that has just refused to comply with these laws. This case is in New Jersey federal court and is captioned Kobren, et al v. A1 Limousine, Inc., et al . This lawsuit, like many before it, alleges that the drivers were not paid overtime premiums when they worked more than 40 hours per week. Instead, the lawsuit alleges that there were paid a flat hourly rate but were not paid one and a half times that rate when they worked more than 40 hours in a week. It seeks back overtime wages, an additional amount as “liquidated damages” as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. It was filed by the Philadelphia law firm of Winebrake and Santillo who is partnering with The Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore in Hartford, Connecticut.