This past June, the California Supreme Court ruled that Oracle employees who resided in Colorado and Arizona, were entitled to overtime pay under California’s wage and hour laws. The plaintiffs, who travel the country training users of Oracle’s software applications, had taken the position that they were not teachers as the company had said.
By classifying these workers as teachers, the company was not required to pay overtime to these workers. Under California law this put them in a classification of “exempt” workers. The plaintiffs sought overtime pay, claiming that they were in fact “non-exempt.”
Oracle’s position was that California law was not applicable to these employees. They said the home states of these employees should control their rights to overtime pay.
The software company also argued that if non-resident employees were to be classified as “non-exempt,” employers would be unduly burdened by being required to apply California wage and hour laws in many employment situations. Finally, Oracle took the position that the laws of the state of residency should control and that in this case, the laws of Arizona and Colorado were in conflict with that of California’s laws.
But, the California Supreme Court disagreed with Oracle and ruled against them. As a result, Oracle has now reached a settlement to pay $35 million to over 1,700 employees to resolve the class-action. This settlement has been preliminarily approved by the Alameda County Superior Court. The case has been winding its way through the courts for many years.
Employers who attempt to misclassify workers to avoid paying them proper wages eventually must pay for their failure to follow the laws of California. Often, these cases become class actions as they involve many plaintiffs. These cases involving wage and hour and related claims is an area of expertise for the lawyers of Hersh & Hersh. We have recently handled important matters involving many workers in cases involving Terminix and Marcus & Millichap. For more information about our law practice, please contact Hersh & Hersh for a free consultation with one of our litigators on your employment situation.