SECOND CIRCUIT REVERSES SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF TELEPHONE CLAIMS ADJUSTERS EMPLOYED BY GEICO

In 2009, Candace Harper brought a collective action on behalf of telephone claims adjusters for  unpaid overtime against Geico Insurance Company.  The 302 adjusters that opted into this action argued that Geico improperly classified them as exempt employees under the “administrative exemption” of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Last year, the district court granted Geico’s motion for summary judgment, agreeing with Geico’s argument that the employees were insurance claims adjusters and thus exempt under the FLSA, and dismissed the case.  The employees appealed, and last week, the Second Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling.  The Second Circuit held that there was a legitimate conflict over the nature of the adjusters’ jobs under the administrative exemption, specifically, whether the employees “performed a sufficient number of the tasks…with sufficient discretion and independent judgment…” so as to satisfy the requirements of the exemption.  As a result, the case is now being sent to trial.

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