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May 04, 2005
Insurance Company Ordered to Pay $50M in OT Suit
A federal judge has decided that Farmers Insurance Group must pay $52.5 million to about 1,000 claims adjusters who alleged the company misclassified them as exempt from overtime, Bloomberg News reports.

Judge Robert E. Jones of United States District Court in Portland, Oregon, made the decision in a case involving claims adjusters in Colorado, Illinois, Washington, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Oregon who claimed they were entitled to overtime because they are "white-collar production workers."

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"Farmers contended that the adjusters were exempt from overtime laws on the basis that they were administrative employees, and we claimed they were white-collar production workers," says N. Robert Stoll, an attorney for the claims adjusters.

The company says it will appeal an earlier decision that found the company liable for overtime pay.

In 2004, Farmers agreed to pay up to $200 million to settle a class-action overtime lawsuit in California, the news service notes. Knoll tells the news service that the lawsuit in California prompted the case in Oregon.


Bloomberg News article, via the New York Times (requires registration)

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