Ninth Circuit Allows California Employees to Pursue Class Action for Off-the-Clock Work

On September 3, 2014, the Ninth Circuit held that a class of employees could pursue their claims for off the clock work against their employer. In Jimenez v. Allstate Insurance Co., 765 F.3d 1161 (9th Cir. 2014), California claims adjusters alleged that their employer required them to work overtime hours (more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week) but discouraged them from reporting it to their managers. The employees did not have a way to record overtime hours on their time cards other than reporting it to their managers. The district court allowed the employees to proceed as a class action, but the employer appealed. The Ninth Circuit held that the employees demonstrated through their evidence that there were three common questions that would allow the court to determine whether all class members worked unpaid overtime:

  1. whether the class members worked overtime without compensation as a result of the employer’s policy of discouraging the claims adjusters to report overtime;
  2. whether the employer knew or should have known that the class members were working overtime without being paid overtime wages; and,
  3. whether the employer “stood idly by” without compensating the employees for unpaid overtime.

If your employer requires you to work overtime but does not pay you for the extra time, including time spent working after you have clocked out for the day (such as for a mandatory security search), please contact us to learn more about your legal rights.

Categories: Off-the-Clock Work