WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a 6-2 decision issued this week, the Supreme Court vacated the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that service advisors qualified for overtime pay because they were not considered “salesmen” under the Fair Labor Standard’s Act (FLSA).
With this decision, the court has both dismissed the Court of Appeals’ decision and punted the verdict on whether service advisors should be exempt from overtime pay back to the lower courts. In Justice Anthony Kennedy’s delivery of the court’s opinion, he stated that “the judgement of the Court of Appeals is vacated, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan joined Kennedy in the court’s opinion.
Justice Clarence Thomas — joined by Justice Samuel A. Alito — dissented from the court’s opinion. In his dissenting opinion, Thomas wrote that he disagreed with the court’s “ultimate decision to punt on the issue before it.” Instead, he thought the court had an “obligation … to decide the merits of the questions presented.”
Additionally, he said service advisors should fall into the definition of a salesman under the FLSA and therefore be exempt from overtime pay.
In a statement delivered to F&I and Showroom, Jared Allen, spokesperson for the National Automobile Dealers Association, expressed the association’s approval of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court expressly rejected a 2011 U.S. Department of Labor interpretative regulation that service writers/advisors are not ‘salesmen’ exempt from overtime, and that the Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and sent the case back for a more appropriate review of the statute,” Allen said.
The Court of Appeals’ decision in question pertained to the case of Encino Motorcars LLC v. Navarro. According to the case, five employees filed a suit against their employer, Mercedes-Benz of Encino, for violating the FLSA by not providing overtime pay when they exceeded 40 hours of labor per week.
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Author: Digital Dealer
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