Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in Business Insurance, in “Overtime Ruling’s Scope Questioned,” by Judy Greenwald. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

A narrow U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year that says car dealership service advisers are exempt from being paid overtime is influencing lower courts to rule other occupations exempt from overtime as well.

But observers also point out that the Supreme Court’s April ruling in Encino Motorcars LLC v. Navarro et al. is based on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and states that provide better employee benefits under its provisions can — and in practice do — override it.

This means that in at least in some jurisdictions, including California, employers may still be obligated to pay overtime despite the Encino ruling.

The case, which has a long litigation history, was initially filed in 2012 by current and former service advisers for Encino, California-based Encino Motorcars, a Mercedes-Benz dealership, who were seeking back pay.

Observers say the ruling is significant in holding the FLSA’s overtime exemption should be more broadly interpreted. …

Paul DeCamp, a member of Epstein Becker Green P.C. in Washington, said, “It’s fair to say that in some cases Encino Motorcars will be a game-changer. There’s no doubt about that, but the impact of the decision will have in any particular case depends on the facts and law in that case.” …

“The decision is definitely a good decision for employers, but it’s important not to overread the decision or to start haphazardly classifying people as exempt based on the new standard,” Mr. DeCamp said. “It’s still important to adhere closely to the law and be very mindful of litigation risks.”


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