Exempt from Overtime Laws - Hazardous Materials

What California employees are exempt from overtime laws ? In Wamboldt v. Safety-Kleen Sys. (N.D.Cal., Aug. 21, 2007, No. C 07-0884 PJH), an employee sued to recover overtime pay. The employee had been a customer service representative for Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., and drove a vehicle transporting hazardous materials. (Id. at p. 21.) Safety-Kleen filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing the employee was exempt from California's overtime compensation laws because the exemption for a driver of hazardous materials applied. (Id. at pp. 10-11.) Employer Safety-Kleen relied only on California regulations, not federal regulations, to support its claim that the employee was exempt. (Ibid.) The district court concluded the employer could not obtain summary judgment because there was a factual dispute as to how much of the employee's time was spent transporting hazardous materials, and therefore whether the driver's exemption had been triggered. (Id. at pp. 23, 27-28.) In a later order denying a motion for reconsideration, the same court clarified its original holding, concluding, "the court finds that, under the proper legal standard, the employee would be entitled to overtime for days in which he did not transport hazardous materials."