Sixth Circuit reverses decison that summarily dismissed "outside sales employees' " overtime suit
This week three judges of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the trial judge and reinstated an "overtime" pay lawsuit by the sales staff at KeHE Distib., LLC. The trial judge had summarily concluded that the plaintiffs weren't entitled to overtime pay because they were exempted "outside sales" employees. The plaintiffs "spent most of their time cleaning and stocking shelves" and this was the foundation for their pay; to summarily conclude that they were "outside sales" employees under these facts was simply inaccurate and error by the judge. A jury should hear the evidence and consider the 9 factors previously identified as important in assessing whether outside sales was the "primary duty" of the employees.
A recent article in the New York Times quoted a national expert who suggested that a struggle for enhanced profits and a perception of an employer-friendly judiciary have resulted in an unprecedented level of non-compliance by employers with federal and state worker compensation laws.