Client service managers of a market research firm in California have received preliminary approval to settle a proposed class action lawsuit to settle claims they were owed wages. These employees alleged that Information Resources Inc., incorrectly classified them as exempt from receiving overtime because of their managerial job titles. A U.S. District Judge has preliminarily approved the $2.25 million settlement that will benefit 129 managers.
The proposed class action had claimed that the market research firm had misclassified managers it its client services team who consistently worked over 40 hours per week. These affected employees, who served as intermediaries between clients and other employees doing strategic analysis, would work 50-60 hours a week without overtime pay or meal and as required under California law and the Fair Labor Standards Act. The settlement is a welcome result for these employees who had filed their complaint about three years prior.
Many industries often rely on misclassifying jobs that have the title “manager” as exempt from receiving overtime pay in order to cut costs. Often times, employees with these managerial titles, cannot hire, fire or discipline other employees, but rather must complete non-managerial tasks during most of their work day without the benefits of an hourly employee earning overtime. This proposed class action had set out to shed light onto the market research industry that has not yet been challenged about its classification practices. If you find yourself working in an industry that is trying to group you into a salaried role by giving you managerial job title despite your actual job function, you may be owed overtime wages if you work long hours. Feel free to speak to one of our available representatives at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP for a free and confidential consultation by calling (212)300-0375. Additionally, you can view our website for helpful employment information regarding your rights.