Attorneys for dealers hailed a long-awaited U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month that service advisers are exempt from overtime pay requirements under federal law, clarifying a murky issue of labor regulation.
The 5-4 decision applies to parts workers as well.
"This is very, very good news for car dealerships, especially those relying on the exemption for 33 years," said Los Angeles attorney Karl Lindegren, who represents Encino Motorcars, a Mercedes-Benz store in Encino, Calif.
Five service advisers had sued the dealership under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. They sought time-and-a-half pay for what they claimed were a minimum of 55-hour workweeks.
Doug Greenhaus, chief regulatory counsel for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said the high-court ruling "returned us to the normal order and understanding dealers had" until 2011, when the U.S. Labor Department ruled that service advisers were not covered by the overtime exemption.