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American Airlines faces overtime class action lawsuit

The State of California has enacted laws intended to ensure that all wage-earning employees receive paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week or 8 hours in a day. A lawsuit has been filed by workers at Los Angeles International Airport against American Airlines alleging numerous violations of these laws.

The lawsuit has been started by three female American Airlines employees who claim to represent other AA employees who are suffering similar violations of the wage and hour laws. The plaintiffs allege that they were assigned to jobs that, based upon the duties they performed, should have been subject to the mandatory overtime provisions of the state Labor Code. The three women allege that they were wrongfully classified as managerial employees and treated as being exempt from the mandatory overtime rules. The claims alleged include failing to pay minimum wage, failing to pay overtime, and failing to reimburse the worker for necessary expenses related to their employment.

The mandatory overtime law and regulations contain a number of exceptions, but the decision as to whether an employee can be considered exempt depends on the actual circumstances of the worker's job. The mere application of a title such as "assistant administrator" or "director" carries little or no weight.

Wage and hour disputes often involve complex legal and factual disputes about whether the state's minimum wage and mandatory overtime laws apply to the plaintiffs. Anyone who wonders if their rights under these laws have been violated may wish to talk to a lawyer who practices employment law. Such a conference can provide a useful evaluation of the law and facts that will govern the case's outcome.

Source: Law 360, "LAX Workers Slap American Airlines With Wage Action,"Suevon Lee, Feb. 13, 2017

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