SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reaffirmed a previous ruling holding that auto service advisers who traditionally work on commission are entitled to overtime and other protections under federal labor laws. While the ruling conflicts with similar cases brought before the Fourth Circuit and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, it is nonetheless significant in helping workers get all the hard-earned income they need to support themselves and their families.
In 1978, federal labor regulators issued blanket overtime exemptions for salespersons in the auto industry, meaning employees could be paid only on a commission basis no matter how many hours per week they worked. However, in 2011 the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidelines separating auto service advisors from mechanics, car salesmen, and partsmen as overtime exempt.
The Appeals Court heard arguments over this same case in 2015, after a lower District Court dismissed the plaintiff’s case, reasoning service advisors selling repair work at mechanic shops are part of an overtime exempt class of workers. The defendants then appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately kicked the case back down to the Court of Appeals after issuing guidance on the DOL’s 2011 memo.
The case will now go back to the lower federal District Court for trial to determine how much, if any, damages the plaintiff can recover. Typically, unpaid overtime lawsuits can recover not only back wages, but penalties equal to the unpaid overtime, interest, and attorneys’ fees to cover the cost of litigation.
The case is a prime example of the lengths some defendants may go in order to avoid paying workers all their hard earned wages, no matter what the impact may be on the worker and the family he or she provides for. Auto service advisors who believe their employer may be short changing them should contact an experienced unpaid overtime attorney to discuss how they can hold wrongdoers accountable for their wage theft.
Auto Service Advisor Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel 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.