Pfohl v. Farmers Ins. Group, 2004 WL 554834 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 1, 2004)

Thomas Pfohl filed this putative class action for unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated individuals who worked for Farmers as temporary full-time insurance adjusters. In this proceeding, the District Court denied Pfohl’s Motion for Certification of Collective Action. Pfohl was employed by an outside staffing agency and not by Farmers itself. The Court held that as an independent contractor of Farmers, Pfohl was not covered by the FLSA, which only applies to employees. Further, the Court held that Pfohl was not similarly situated to the employees of the other staffing agencies, all of whom were included in the putative class, and that in any case, Pfohl was not similarly situated to the other members with respect to the elements of the administrative exemption of the FLSA. Cf. Leever v. City of Carson, 360 F.3d 1014 (9th Cir. 2004) (“reasonable agreement” exception to overtime provisions of FLSA did not apply where union negotiated the agreement without taking into account “all of the pertinent facts”).