Cases upholding the exempt status of dispatchers pursuant to the administrative exemption of the FLSA generally have focused on whether the position requires the performance of decision-making duties and analysis “beyond mere communication and tracking of vehicles.”  A new decision builds on that analysis.  Wade v. Werner Trucking Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35653 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 18, 2014).

In Wade, Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. of the Southern District of Ohio summarized prior authority, including the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s leading decision on the issue, and then concluded that the defendant had established that many of the fleet coordinator or fleet manager Plaintiffs challenging exempt status qualified for the administrative exemption as a matter of law because: (i) their job consisted of “overseeing trucks and truck drivers operating within their jurisdiction during their shift, [which] was non-manual office work directly related to the management and business operations of Werner;” and (ii) they exercised discretion in supervising, training, recruiting, directing or disciplining the truck drivers working under them.

Dispatching employees, like certain classifications of insurance industry workers, continue to assert misclassification claims from time to time.  Employers need to analyze the specific duties of the individuals performing the functions discussed in Wade for their businesses and make classification decisions accordingly.