professional exemption

Solis v. State of Washington, 656 F.3d 1079 (9th Cir. 2011)

The U.S. Secretary of Labor filed a complaint against the State of Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services (“DSHS”), alleging a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) based upon the DSHS’s classification of its social workers as “learned professionals” exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements. The district

Zelasko-Barrett v. Brayton-Purcell, LLP, 198 Cal. App. 4th 582 (2011)

Following his graduation from law school but before he had passed the California bar examination, Matthew Zelasko-Barrett worked for the law firm of Brayton-Purcell, LLP as a Law Clerk II. After his voluntary departure from the firm, Zelasko-Barrett filed this lawsuit claiming he was misclassified as an exempt employee while he worked for the

We invite you to review our newly posted July 2011 California Employment Law Notes — a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law.  The highlights include:

Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, 642 F.3d 820 (2011)

Two thousand unlicensed junior accountants brought this wage-and-hour class action against PwC, alleging they were improperly classified as exempt from overtime. The parties filed cross-motions for partial summary judgment, and the district court granted the employees’ motion, holding as a matter of law that they were not exempt under the professional or administrative exemptions. The Ninth Circuit

Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2011 WL 2342740 (9th Cir. June 15, 2011) (pdf)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff-junior accountants, noting that the district court’s holding would produce “significantly troubling results” and create “highly problematic precedent affecting several non-accounting professions.” The plaintiffs, a class of approximately 2,000 current or former junior accountants resident in six California offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”), claimed that PwC improperly classified them as “exempt” employees and failed to provide them overtime pay in accordance with California’s rigid overtime pay requirements. As “junior accountants,” the plaintiffs occupied the bottom two tiers of their department’s seven-tier hierarchy and performed, among other accounting functions, audits of financial records. While Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) licenses were required for the five levels above them, the plaintiffs were unlicensed.

Wang v. Chinese Daily News, 623 F.3d 743 (2010)

Plaintiffs (reporters for the Chinese Daily News) alleged they were non-exempt employees entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California state law. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the reporters, finding journalists are not subject to the creative professional exemption to the FLSA or California law. The

California School of Culinary Arts v. Lujan, 112 Cal. App. 4th 16 (2003)

The employer, California School of Culinary Arts (CSCA), failed to pay its instructors overtime under Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order 4-2001 on the ground that the instructors were subject to the professional exemption of the Wage Order. The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) disagreed, contending that the exemption did