09/26/2011 // Los Angeles, CA, USA // Keller Grover LLP // Los Angeles Employment Lawyer Eric Grover
Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Employment Lawyer News) — The former law clerk of a California law firm who claims his past employer owes him overtime wages and other benefits appealed an adverse summary judgment, which rejected his claims for additional payment. The California employment lawsuit, which was filed in Marin County, asserted the law firm incorrectly classified him as employed in a professional capacity, exempting the law firm from paying him overtime wages and other benefits, reports Los Angeles employment lawyer Eric Grover.
But, the trial court saw differently, ruling that although the plaintiff had not yet been licensed to practice law in California—he was a law school graduate awaiting his bar results—his job duties classified him within an exemption for those engaged in a learned profession, court documents revealed.
The California employment wage and hour dispute began back when the plaintiff was hired by Brayton-Purcell, LLP—a law firm headquartered in Novato. The plaintiff worked for the personal injury law firm between August 2007 and June 2009, following the plaintiff’s graduation from law school and before passing the bar examination. During this employment period the plaintiff was classified as a Law Clerk II, but after being admitted to the bar, the plaintiff was classified as an associate attorney, the California employment attorney Eric Grover recounted from the lawsuit documents.
Although the plaintiff had no qualms about the salary and benefits that accompany the associate attorney status, the plaintiff did raise issues about his compensation while classified as a Law Clerk II, stated Grover, the California employment lawyer.
The plaintiff asserted that the as a Law Clerk II he was erroneously classified as an exempt professional employee, due to the nature of the duties he performed, which are typically performed by junior attorneys. As a result, the plaintiff claimed the California Industrial Welfare Commission wage order No. 4-2001 was inapplicable, and had wrongfully denied the plaintiff overtime wages, waiting time penalties, and meal and rest breaks. The wage order allows an exemption for “learned professions” for employment in the fields of law, architecture, engineering and other fields requiring advanced or specialized knowledge, which in this case refers to the fact that the plaintiff had graduated law school but had yet to receive his license to practice law.
In trial court Brayton-Purcell prevailed, by moving for a summary judgment on the grounds that in the Law Clerk II position plaintiff had been an “exempt professional employee.” In response, the plaintiff promptly filed an appeal of the adverse summary judgment, but the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision and his claim was rejected, the Los Angeles employment law firm of Keller Grover LLP reported.
This news story was brought to you by Keller Grover LLP, the California employment lawyers. If you or someone you love has been a victim of fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive marketplace practices; as well as discrimination in the workplace, contacting a knowledgeable Los Angeles employment lawyer can help get the justice you deserve.
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