Deloitte Overtime Class Decertified

Former auditors for Deloitte & Touche lost their effort to pursue the accounting firm for overtime claims through a class action.  A federal judge decertified the class saying the claims by individuals were just too diverse.

The class, previously certified in March 2010, included employees who were not licensed accountants and were not paid overtime.  But the case was put on hold two years ago by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals while it considered an appeal in a similar case against PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In that case, the appeals court held that unlicensed accountants were not subject to the professionals exemption that allowed employers to exclude them from overtime. [Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers]

But before the Deloitte plaintiffs had time to savor the victory, Deloitte asked U.S. District Judge Susan Illston to decertify the class, arguing their claims were simply too varied to support common class claims.

Last week Illston agreed.  She decertified the class saying, “The voluminous and conflicting evidence in the form of class member declarations and deposition testimony shows wide variation in the job duties and work experiences of the class members,” she wrote.

“Although there may be some common questions of law or fact, plaintiffs have not demonstrated that common questions of law or fact predominate and that a class action is a superior method of adjudication,” she concluded.

Case:  Brady v. Deloitte & Touche,  No. C08-177SI



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