Capitol Correspondence - 07.29.19

DOL Issues Opinion Letter on Sleep Time for Truckers – Potential Precedent for I/DD

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ANCOR is sharing this announcement by the Department of Labor (DOL) because despite it being directed at the trucking industry, sleep time is also an issue of interest to disability supports. As such, this letter could set precedent for direct support professionals who supervise settings which require night shifts.

As written by DOL:

“The opinion letter issued today, FLSA2019-10, addresses the compensability of time spent in a truck’s sleeper berth while otherwise relieved from duty. Significantly, this opinion letter provides new guidance. Under prior guidance, WHD interpreted the relevant regulations to mean that while sleeping time may be excluded from hours worked where “adequate facilities” were furnished, only up to 8 hours of sleeping time may be excluded in a trip 24 hours or longer, and no sleeping time may be excluded for trips under 24 hours. WHD has now concluded that this interpretation is unnecessarily burdensome for employers and instead adopts a straightforward reading of the plain language of the applicable regulation, under which the time drivers are relieved of all duties and permitted to sleep in a sleeper berth is presumptively non-working time that is not compensable. There may be circumstances, however, where a driver who retires to a sleeping berth is unable to use the time effectively for his or her own purposes. For example, a driver who is required to remain on call or do paperwork in the sleeping berth may be unable to effectively sleep or engage in personal activities; in such cases, the time is compensable hours worked.”