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Quality assurance workers fight against non-payment of overtime

In general, there are two classifications of employees in California: exempt and non-exempt. Those who are exempt employees do not benefit from overtime and are usually compensated with a salary, as opposed to an hourly wage. Other employees are non-exempt and should receive payment for their overtime. The improper classification of workers can ultimately lead to an employment dispute from disgruntled workers who feel that they are entitled to being paid for their overtime hours.

A lawsuit was brought against Epic Systems by one of its former quality assurance workers for not receiving payment for overtime hours. The complaint has had 44 others join as plaintiffs since its filing. In the spring of 2014, the suit was certified as a class action after both parties agreed, and nearly 1,000 previous and current employees were sent letters in May to inform them about the suit.

According to the complaint, the quality assurance workers for the health care software producer were classified as exempt. The employees and company officials had different viewpoints concerning whether the workers should have been classified differently. Ultimately, to avoid additional additional expenses, both sides agreed to settle, and $5.4 million is to be distributed amongst the claimants.

Although companies' management teams should know how to classify their employees properly, some fail to do so. If a California employee is not receiving payment for his or her overtime because of a classification error, he or she should discuss the issue with his or her employer. In the event that an agreeable solution is not met, the worker may choose to pursue legal action. Cases that are ruled in favor of the claimant may award him or her with unpaid overtime, as well as possibly result in the reclassification of a group of workers.

Source: hots.madison.com, "Epic reaches $5.4 million settlement with former workers on overtime pay", Ed Treleven, Oct. 31, 2014

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