NEW YORK CITY — A California federal appeals court recently sided with a pair of certified public accountants in their unpaid overtime lawsuit overturning a District Court ruling that could have substantially hampered the plaintiffs’ legal options. The plaintiffs will now be able to proceed with their claims against their employer Ernst & Young as part of a federal class action lawsuit over unpaid overtime for accountants and other workers.
Under their conditions for employment with Ernst & Young, the two plaintiffs in this case were forced to agree to mandatory arbitration agreements with their employer. These agreements stated any legal issues with the company’s employment practices were to be settled exclusively by a third party arbitrator and could not be taken up in front of a judge.
A District Court judge originally sided with the defendant when it upheld the validity of such arbitration agreements to resolve disagreements between workers and employers which would have made their effort to recover back wages especially difficult. Fortunately for the plaintiffs, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled the arbitration clauses violated the National Labor Relations Act which allows employees to engage in concerted activity.
Overtime Lawsuit Plaintiffs Claim They were Misclassified Under FLSA Rules
The plaintiffs originally filed their claim in a New York federal court alleging their employer intentionally misclassified them as overtime exempt to skirt overtime pay and hoped to join the larger class action suit against Ernst & Young. The unpaid overtime lawsuit was eventually moved to District Court in the District of Northern California, where the defendants attempted to enforce the mandatory arbitration clauses in the plaintiff’s employment agreements.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), only workers performing certain classes of jobs can be exempt from overtime pay. The Department of Labor also has standards of job descriptions which these employees must meet in their duties in order to qualify as merely giving a worker a title does not make them exempt from time and a half pay.
Overtime Pay Misclassification Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you and and other employees believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.