Bullock, et al. v. Automotive Club of Southern California, No. SACV01-731GLT, 2002 WL 432003, was filed in the United States District Court in Santa Ana by Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho on behalf of Sales Agents who alleged that the Auto Club misclassified them as “exempt” employees and thereby denied them overtime compensation. The case was certified as a collective action permitting individual Sales Agents to opt in to the lawsuit. Over 500 Sales Agents opted in to the lawsuit. A test trial was held on plaintiff Willie Bullock’s individual claims in October 2002. The District Court held that Mr. Bullock was misclassified as exempt under the FLSA and was entitled to back overtime pay and reimbursement for member gift expenses. In February 2003, the court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, extending most of these favorable rulings to all 500+ opt-in plaintiffs. In July 2003, Plaintiffs won another partial summary judgment motion eliminating all of Auto Club’s exemption defenses as to all opt-in plaintiffs. Shortly afterward, Auto Club reclassified all Sales Agents and Life Specialists as non-exempt and started paying them overtime.
Finally, on December 6, 2004, the federal court approved a $19.5 million settlement, resolving the wage and hour claims of over 1,300 agents insurance sales agents in Southern California, Texas, and New Mexico.