During the winter, snow plow drivers often end up working in excess of 40 hours per week. At times they work around the clock during snow emergencies. So, are snow plow drivers entitled to overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week under Massachusetts and/or federal law?
There is an overtime exception for seasonal work under Massachusetts law. The law states that no overtime must be paid “in a business or specified operation of a business which is carried on during a period or accumulated periods not in excess of one hundred and twenty days in any year, and determined by the commissioner to be seasonal in nature.” (You can read the law here).
The key issue here is that even if the snow removal operation operates for less than four months a year, the business owner must apply for the exemption with the commissioner before the overtime work happens. This is infrequently done, and therefore most snow plow drivers are entitled to overtime under Massachusetts law.
The motor carrier exemption also applies under both state and federal law, but this will not affect snow plow drivers who drive vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds and who often do not cross state lines in their work.
The bottom line is that snow plow drivers should get overtime pay for hours in excess of 40 in Massachusetts.