Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik Appeals Decision Denying Plaintiff a Jury Trial By Finding Hearing Representatives Exempt From California Overtime Laws

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The Los Angeles employment attorneys are appealing a District Court's ruling that denied Plaintiff a jury trial

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it is also undisputed that Hearing Representatives were only able to act within the confines of the authority granted to them by a claims adjuster or manager.

On July 24, 2013, United States District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney granted Defendant AIG Domestic Claims Inc.'s motion for summary judgment. The case entitled Gallardo vs. AIG Domestic Claims, Inc. ("AIG"), Case No. SACV-12-1107-CJC (ANx), was originally filed by the Los Angeles labor lawyers in June of 2012 in the Orange County Superior Court, but was later removed by AIG to the United States District Court for the Central District of California. A copy of the First Amended Complaint in federal Court can be read here.

In granting AIG's motion for summary judgment, the court found as a matter of law that Hearing Representatives are exempt from California overtime laws. In so doing counsel for the Plaintiff will argue an appeal that the Court ignored the non-exempt status of paralegals in California and allegedly erroneously applied the law applicable to claims adjusters. Notably, in its decision which can be read here, the Court admitted that, "it is also undisputed that Hearing Representatives were only able to act within the confines of the authority granted to them by a claims adjuster or manager."

According to Plaintiff's opposition to AIG's motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff, who was not a licensed attorney and had no authority beyond that of a paralegal made appearances at administrative proceedings and did not have the same responsibilities of a Claims Adjuster.

Both the First Amended Complaint and Plaintiff's opposition to AIG' s motion for summary judgment, which can be read above, claim that the fact that the Plaintiff was acting in a legal setting, as do paralegals, gave Plaintiff no more control over the decision making then would the acts of paralegals. Under California overtime laws, paralegals are considered categorically non-exempt and are entitled to be paid overtime wages.

The Los Angeles employment attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik have already appealed the District Court's ruling and will argue that the Court allegedly failed to narrowly construe the overtime exemptions and that AIG allegedly failed to meet its burden of proving the exemption on the basis that the trier of fact could only find for Defendant. Finally, as stated in the Court's opinion and the opposition filed by the Plaintiff, its undisputed that the Hearing Representatives had no authority beyond that granted to them by a Claims Adjuster or Claims Manager. As a result, the opposition filed by the Plaintiff alleged that Hearing Representatives should be entitled to overtime pay.

The California employment attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik represent employees in the State of California in various lawsuits including class actions for unpaid overtime, unpaid business expenses, and missed meal and rest breaks. If you would like free California labor law advice, call one of their experienced attorneys today at (415) 935-3957.

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Norm Blumenthal
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