Employment Lawyers As Court of Appeals to Reverse Lower Court Decision Dismissing State Law Claims for Overtime Pay – Los Angeles Employment Law Attorneys Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik

by Norman B. Blumenthal on July 17, 2013

Time“On June 19, 2013, a judge on the United States District Court for The Central District of California summarily dismissed the claims of two worker’s compensation claims adjusters for overtime wages for hours worked under California law without being giving their right to a jury trial,” noted Norman Blumenthal of Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik, a California employment law firm.

In Bucklin, et al. v. American Zurich Insurance Company, a motion for summary judgment in a class action lawsuit was granted.  The complaint filed in Zurich alleged that the company improperly classified Claims Adjusters as exempt from California overtime law.  See Bucklin, et al. v. American Zurich Insurance Company, Case No. 2:11-cv-05519-SVW-MRW.  “In granting the motion,” said Mr. Blumenthal, “the court ignored the California Supreme Court’s decision in Ramirez v. Yosemite, (1999) 20 Cal. 4th 785 which holds that any exemption to workers’ right to overtime pay under California law must be narrowly construed in order to promote full employment by strict enforcement of California’s Overtime Laws.”

Mr. Blumenthal also notes that the district court made numerous findings of fact against the claims adjusters that were really triable issues for a jury.   Instead the court gives mere lip service to the law that the exemption is an affirmative defense and an exception to the law. In so doing the court does what a court is warned not to do in cases where the evidence requires a judgment of facts, which is to decide the facts.  Notably the court found that the claims adjusters did work “directly related to management policies”, they “exercised independent judgment”, and they “performed under only general supervision,” which made them exempt from California Overtime Laws.

“This is one of the prime reasons there is not full employment in this country.  Judges who work as corporate activists on our federal benches, who take activist positions in favor of the corporate employer, eliminate jobs by allowing less employees to work longer hours,” continued Blumenthal.   “With these laws strictly enforced by our courts, our labor force could rise by 20 percent.  Without these laws being vigorously enforced, we will return to lower wages for more hours work,” finished Blumenthal.

Blumenthal Nordrehaug and Bhowmik originally filed the purported class action complaint on behalf of the Claims Adjusters in March of 2011.

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik is a California employment law firm with offices located in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The firm dedicates its practice to contingency fee employment law work for issues involving misclassification as a salaried worker exempt from overtime, failure to pay vacation wages, misclassification as an independent contractor, off-the-clock work, wrongful termination, discrimination and other California labor laws.  Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik can be contacted at (866) 771-7099.

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