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California Supreme Court to decide if insurance adjusters should get overtime pay

Posted On: Sep. 8, 2011 12:00 AM CST

California Supreme Court to decide if insurance adjusters should get overtime pay

SAN FRANCISCO—The California Supreme Court will hear arguments Oct. 3 in a case that centers on whether California claims adjusters are entitled to overtime pay.

A California appellate court in 2007 overturned a trial court decision and ruled in Francis Harris et al. vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles County and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. that a class of adjusters who filed suit against Liberty Mutual and Golden Eagle Insurance Co. were not exempt from overtime compensation requirements under California law.

The plaintiffs alleged they were entitled to damages based on overtime work for which they were not properly paid.

Regulations set by California's Industrial Welfare Commission require overtime pay when an employee exceeds eight hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek. Exempt are employees in administrative, executive or professional capacities.

The outcome of the case has implications for a similar case. The California Supreme Court deferred hearings in Kenneth Hodge et al. vs. Aon Insurance Services et al. until Harris is decided.

In Hodge, an appellate court agreed with a trial court decision in February that adjusters working for a third-party administrator were exempt from the overtime regulations.