Court Ruling Supporting Truckers Overtime Pay - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Court Ruling Supporting Truckers Overtime Pay

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PASCO, Wash. - The Washington Supreme Court is supporting better pay for truck drivers. A new ruling now makes it mandatory to pay drivers overtime.

If every truck driver got paid the same way this ruling would be easy to understand, and easy to apply. It's hard to know who gets paid for what. But whether truckers are paid by the mile or by the hour the ones KNDU talked to Friday said they like the idea.

"I think it's a great idea. It's one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time," said Randy Crowder, Harmony Express Trucking.   

Crowder is a trucker who makes a lot of trips through Washington state. His rig has helped him make dozens of local friends.  However getting paid in Washington isn't quite as neighborly.

"You could be traveling down the highway get stuck in traffic for over eight hours or stop at a scale, get tied up there for two to three hours. You're not getting paid for anything like that," said Crowder.    

That's something the Washington State Supreme Court is changing. Now all state based truckers who work over 40 hours a week will get paid overtime even if much of their driving is outside the state.

The only problem is some truckers don't get paid by the hour, they get paid by the mile, and places like Oak Harbor Freight Lines said they've already factored in overtime money into the mile rate. They said they'll comply with the ruling, but right now they don't know how to apply it.

As soon as they do, truckers like Crowder said it'll make a big difference.

"Years ago you used to make the money that would compensate for that for it. Now you're barely just making it," he said.   

Right now companies don't have a formula spelled out to show them how to work the overtime pay. And an attorney for the Washington Trucker's Association said the ruling may get appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.