In Demma v. Chicago 24 Hour Towing, Inc., the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois provided further clarification on the Motor Carrier Exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act. In this case, a group of tow truck drivers contended that they were not paid overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which generally requires that tow truck companies compensate any employee who works in excess of 40 hours per week at a rate 1.5 times the normal hourly wage.
Anyone who has attended a Towlawyer seminar has probably heard Michael McGovern and I warn about the risks and rewards of private property towing. Private property towing is contentious and most everyone seems to dislike private property towers. Therefore, our message is simple: if you want to succeed in private property towing, you have to be perfect. You have to dot every “I” and cross every “T” every time. If you don’t, you have given an angry consumer an opening to sue for civil violations or, even worse, an opening for a prosecutor to prosecute for criminal violations.