Supreme Court hears case on overtime for service advisors

Supreme Court hears case on overtime for service advisors

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, an appeal of a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the west coast as to whether overtime rules apply to service advisors.

The Ninth Circuit decision deferred to a 2011 Department of Labor ruling that reversed 30 years of previous DOL interpretations and contradicted any number of earlier court rulings that service advisors are, indeed, exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Thanks to NADAês support, former Solicitor General Paul Clement argued on behalf of Encino Motorcars, a southern California Mercedes dealership, that the Ninth Circuit opinion was bogus and should be set aside.

As reported in The Hill, Clement noted that service advisors are paid partly on commission, which is shared with other dealership employees. They are paid above minimum wage and –have a reason to work about 46 hours a week,” Clement said. He was responding to justicesê questions about why service advisors are different from other dealership employees who receive overtime.

The petitioner was also supported by a –friend of the court” amicus brief filed by NADA and the nine ATAE dealer associations in the Ninth Circuit, covering the west coast and northwest. The amicus brief was cited several times during the argument.

A decision from the Supreme Court is expected later this spring, likely by June. With only eight justices, however, the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will stand if the Supreme Court Justices deadlock.

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