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