The FLSA establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor. These standards affect more than 130 million workers, both full-time and part-time, in the private and public sectors. (29 USC §201 et seq.; 29 CFR Parts 510 to 794).
Many industries seek to employ youthful workers between the ages of sixteen (16) and eighteen (18). Further, some of those same industries have requirements that their employees drive as part of their job duties. Under the FLSA, an employer must follow very specific rules on the driving requirements of youthful workers or face serious violations and fines.
If an employer has employees that are sixteen years of age or younger, the employer is prohibited from requiring any such employee to drive a motor vehicle on the public roads as part of their job duties. This prohibition applies even if the employee possesses a valid state driver’s license.
If an employee is seventeen (17) years of age, an employer may require them to drive only cars and small trucks on public roadways as part of their job responsibilities, and only in the very limited circumstances in which all of the following are met:
(a) the driving is limited to daylight hours only;
(b) the seventeen year old employee holds a State driver’s license valid for the type of driving involved for the job performance;
(c) the employee has successfully completed a State approved driver education course and has no record of any moving violation at the time of hiring;
(d) the car or small truck driven by the employee is equipped with a seat belt for the driver and any passengers, and the employer has instructed the employee that the seat belts must be used when driving the vehicle;
(e) the car or small truck does not exceed six thousand (6,000) pounds in gross weight; AND
(f) such driving is only occasional and incidental to the employee’s employment. Under the FLSA, this means that the employee may not spend more than one third (1/3) of the work time in any workday, and no more than twenty percent (20%) of the work time in any workweek driving.
If an employer can ensure the preceding elements, their investigation is only half complete. An employer must also note that driving by a seventeen (17) year old employee may not be part of their job duties if it involves the following:
(a) towing vehicles;
(b) route deliveries or route sales;
(c) urgent time sensitive deliveries (such as pizza delivery);
(d) transporting more than three (3) passengers, including employees of the employer;
(e) driving beyond a thirty (30) mile radius of the employee’s place of employment;
(f) more than two (2) trips away from the primary place of employment in any single day to deliver the employer’s goods to a customer; or
(g) more than two (2) trips away from the primary place of employment in any single day to transport passengers other than the employees of the employer.
If an employer determines that their youthful employee, and the job requirements meet the limitations as set forth in the FLSA, the employer may hire the youthful employee and utilize that employee’s services in a transportation capacity. It is important to note that all other child labor laws must be adhered to beyond those listed in this article.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Youthful Employee Driving Requirements
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph C. Maya, Esq.
Joseph C. Maya is the Managing Partner at Maya Murphy, P.C., and offers deep knowledge and experience in employment law matters, handling all aspects of discrimination, wrongful termination, workplace safety, sexual harassment and other employment related disputes.
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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.