A Southern California dealership group wrongfully classified its service advisers under state labor law to avoid paying them for overtime, meal breaks that they missed and rest periods, a proposed class action lawsuit alleges.
Jim Wolleson, a Gosch Auto Group service adviser from August 2015 to August 2017, filed the case in Riverside County Superior Court on behalf of all service advisers who worked for the company during the past four years. The group sells Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai and Toyota vehicles at five dealerships in Hemet and Temecula, Calif.
The suit claims all the group’s service advisers were misclassified as exempt from overtime wages and other requirements. It asserts that the company had a “uniform policy and practice which failed to lawfully compensate these employees for all their unpaid overtime and their missed meal breaks and unpaid rest periods.”
Tim Gosch, the general manager of Gosch Toyota in Hemet, said he couldn’t comment.
The trigger for the suit was a recent state appeals court decision that employees paid on commission “must be separately compensated for rest periods,” said Wolleson’s lawyer, Nicholas De Blouw of La Jolla, Calif.
De Blouw predicted similar class action lawsuits against other dealerships on behalf of service advisers and F&I managers. “This is just the beginning,” he said.