Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “Supreme Court Rules Car Service Advisers Can’t Get Overtime,” by Jon Steingart.

Following is an excerpt:

Car service advisers aren’t entitled to federal overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4.

An employee generally is eligible for time-and-a-half pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act unless an exemption applies. Encino Motorcars LLC and current and former service advisers for the dealership disputed whether the FLSA’s exemption for “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles, trucks, or farm implements” applies to the employees. Service advisers sell service packages provided by technicians.

The April 2 decision means the service advisers at the Mercedes-Benz dealership can’t go ahead with a lawsuit saying they worked overtime hours but weren’t paid overtime wages.

“It’s fair to say that today’s ruling at least substantially changes the prism through which courts will look at FLSA exemptions going forward,” Paul DeCamp of Epstein Becker & Green P.C. in Washington told Bloomberg Law.

Courts have been applying narrow construction to FLSA exemptions since the 1940s, and the Supreme Court adopted it as a general rule in the 1960s, DeCamp said. “Today’s ruling is a sharp departure from that longstanding principle,” DeCamp said April 2.

DeCamp served as administrator of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division during the George W. Bush administration. The agency administers the FLSA, but it didn’t participate in the case the second time it came to the high court.

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