A group of service adviser employees at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in California sued their employer in 2012 for missing overtime pay. The group stated that they were not exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act in the way that mechanics and salespeople are. In 2013, a district court ruled in favor of the dealership, and the employees appealed the decision.
The case ended up in front of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of the employees. According to the 9th Circuit, regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 indicated that service advisers are not exempt. At this point, the dealership appealed, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled to vacate the decision and sent the case back to the 9th Circuit. In the process, the Supreme Court stated that the 9th Circuit was required to consider the case again without relying on the DOL regulations from 2011. Once again, the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of the employees, but this time the court did so on the basis of legislative history and an in-depth examination of the wording of the exemption.
Wage and hour laws determine how people should be paid and what circumstances require that they be compensated with overtime. Depending on the line of work that someone is in, overtime may be required if they work more than a set number of hours per week or per day. If an employee believes that they are not being compensated appropriately, a lawyer could help them determine what their options are for pursuing this compensation.