In re Farmers Ins. Exch., 466 F.3d 853 (9th Cir. 2006)

In this class action case, more than 2,000 current and former insurance claims adjusters sought overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), alleging that Farmers had improperly classified them as exempt administrative employees. The Ninth Circuit applied a regulation issued by the United States Department of Labor (29 C.F.R. § 541.203), which provides that “[i]nsurance claims adjusters generally meet the duties requirements for the administrative exemption” of the FLSA. The district court had not applied the regulation presumably because it was not in effect at the time plaintiffs had filed these actions. Cf. Hodge v. Superior Court, 145 Cal. App. 4th 278 (2006) (plaintiff-employees should have been permitted to avoid jury trial by dismissing statutory claims for unpaid overtime and proceeding to trial on unfair competition claim).