A large restaurant chain faced a wage & hour misclassification class action lawsuit in California. The potential class consisted of kitchen managers who alleged that they should have been classified as hourly non-exempt (rather than salary exempt) employees. As such, they would have been entitled to compensation relating to overtime as well as missed meal and rest breaks.
Econ One was retained by counsel for the restaurant chain to construct, implement, and analyze a survey for potential class members to complete. The purpose of the survey was to understand what job duties the potential class members were performing–and how long it took to perform those job duties–during the class period. Brian worked with restaurant experts to ensure that the survey included a clear, comprehensive, and relevant set of questions. Dr. Kriegler concluded that the responses from the survey indicated that: (1) there was substantial variation in the amount of time spent performing various tasks which suggested that the kitchen managers were exercising their own judgment; and (2) for the vast majority of respondents, over half of their time was spent performing managerial and supervisorial duties. These survey results were presented at mediation. The case settled prior to the class certification hearing.