The suit filed in Sacramento Superior Court claims that Melissa O’Harra and 3,500 other workers in California were denied overtime pay and other benefits when Intel incorrectly classified them as “exempt” employees.
For the past three years, O’Harra has been classified as an “exempt” employee while working as a business analyst, systems analyst, team leader and project leader. The suit claims that none of those positions qualify as “exempt” under California law.
O’Harra is seeking back pay, interest, legal fees and profits gained by Intel for the alleged infraction. Currently a judge is deciding on her attorneys’ request for class action status, a decision that could take up to six months.
As California has adopted a broader interpretation of federal law for worker classification, these lawsuits have become much more common, according to Daniel Coyle, an employment lawyer at Sacramento-based Downey, Seymour & Rohwer, “the exempt/non-exempt question is one of the more active areas of litigation these days.”
This year alone has seen similar suits settled in California by United Parcel Service, Radio Shack, Corp., Starbucks, Corp. and Michaels Stores, Inc .