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June 2013

Gordon & Rees Los Angeles Team Wins Before California Labor Commissioner

Gordon & Rees Los Angeles employment partners Debra Meppen and Sarah Super, senior counsel Anthony Bellone, and associate Elina Geykher  recently won a favorable ruling from the California Labor Commissioner on behalf of a national fast food restaurant chain in a contentious wage and hour action.

The claimant, a former restaurant manager, alleged the franchisee owed her nearly $100,000 for unpaid overtime. As a 21-year employee, she alleged she was misclassified as exempt in her position as restaurant manager; she worked at least six hours of overtime each day; and sometimes she worked two shifts and came in on her day off.

At the hearing, the defense was able to point out that the claimant was the highest ranking person in the store and, therefore, she met the administrative exemption under California’s wage and hour laws. The defense evidence satisfied the laws’ duties test, salary amount test, and salary basis test. On May 29, the Labor Commissioner determined that the defendant outlined the plaintiff's duties and responsibilities as an administrative-exempt employee and awarded the plaintiff zero on every claim.

The client, who owns numerous restaurant franchises, needed a complete victory post-hearing to fend off any future misclassification claims by store managers.

Debra Ellwood Meppen
Elina Geykher Wineburgh



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