Eicher v. Advanced Bus. Integrators, Inc., 2007 WL 1678244 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007)

ABI sells computer software that is used in sports and entertainment venues to schedule staff, manage payroll, credentialing and security and to keep track of costs. ABI employed Michael Eicher to provide on-site customer service and training on the ABI software. ABI considered Eicher to be a consultant and paid him a salary, but no overtime. The Court of Appeal held that ABI failed to carry its burden of establishing that Eicher was an exempt administrative employee. Specifically, the Court held that ABI failed to prove that Eicher performed “office or non-manual work directly related to management policies or general business operations of ABI or its customers” — the test underlying the so-called “administrative-production dichotomy.” The Court concluded that Eicher “regularly engaged in the core day-to-day business of ABI – that is, implementing the ABI [software] at customer venues and supporting the customers.” After reducing the amount of damages Eicher could recover (to account for PTO), the Court further held he was entitled to the attorneys’ fees he incurred in the trial and appellate court proceedings. Compare Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, 551 U.S. 158, 127 S. Ct. 2339 (2007) (companionship workers provided through third-party agencies are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act).