Overtime Case Regarding Special Investigators and Senior Special Investigators by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
Recently, in April of 2010, the United States District Court for the Eastern Division of Ohio heard a case regarding the administrative exemption for a FLSA overtime case. (See Foster v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., 2010 WL 1404596 (S.D.Ohio)). In Foster, the trial court denied the motions for summary judgment because there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether the primary duty of Nationwide’s’ Special Investigators “includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.” Id.
At issue in this case were attached declarations to the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment. Id. Defendant objected to their use in that Defendant did not get an opportunity to take their deposition. Id. But this Court concluded that even if the declarations were taken out of the equation, the initial court’s ruling would still have been the same. Id. There was plenty of evidence to support the initial finding. The Plaintiffs’ administrative assistance lawyer filed a good case.
There was testimony that the Special Investigators were told to “no longer include personal comments of their findings in their investigation logs.” Id. Thus, this was one example of how the Plaintiffs did not meet the discretion and independent judgment element of the administrative exemption. Id. “The administrative exemption is comprised of three elements, one of which requires an exempt employee’s “primary duty” to “include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to maters of significance.” (cites omitted). Id.
Further, there was evidence that Nationwide used an auditing tool that basically proved that the Special Investigators were precluded from providing subject assessments of their factual findings. Id. This supported the notion that they could not use their own discretion or independent judgment.
In conclusion, the Court held that there were questions of fact and the Defendant’s motion to reconsider was denied and the case was allowed to continue forward.
If you are a Louisville employee who works overtime and if you work as an administrative assistant, you still may be entitled to overtime if what you actually do does not pass the three prong test for being an exempt administrative assistant.
If you have been the subject of a Louisville administrative assistant exemption matter, please call and speak to a Louisville administrative assistant attorney at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!