U.S. Supreme Court lets Washington overtime ruling stand

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, Nov. 26, refused to hear an appeal of a Washington Supreme Court ruling declaring that truck drivers are entitled to overtime pay beyond 40 hours regardless of how much of their driving took place in the state.

The effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s action is to end legal challenges to the overtime ruling by the trucking company involved, Food Express, joined by the Washington Trucking Association and the American Trucking Associations.

Washington’s minimum wage law “unambiguously requires that overtime be paid to a Washington employee based on all hours worked,” Justice Barbara Madsen wrote for the majority in the March 1 decision.

ATA and WTA had filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Food Express appeal. The associations argued that the Washington state ruling, which overturned almost 20 years of precedent, would inject the state’s overtime regulatory system into other states in violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and preemption of state interference in carrier’s rates, routes and services.