(Added case background, paragraphs 3-5)
By Robert Iafolla
WASHINGTON Oct 3 The U.S. Supreme Court on
Monday declined to hear GEICO General Insurance Co's appeal of a
ruling that the No. 2 auto insurer in the United States must pay
overtime wages to its claims investigators after the company had
sought to exempt them.
GEICO had challenged a 2015 decision by the Richmond,
Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that its
investigators are eligible for overtime under federal wage laws.
GEICO, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is a subsidiary
of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
The 4th Circuit found that GEICO's claims investigators were
too removed from management or general business operations to
qualify for an exemption from federal overtime requirements.
In 2012, a federal judge in Maryland ruled that GEICO owed
claims investigators who joined a class action for unpaid
overtime. The judge limited the damages that GEICO owed to about
$3 million because it had acted in good faith, citing the
company's efforts to keep up with legal developments about
Florida-based claims investigator Samuel Calderon sued GEICO
on behalf of other investigators in 2010. GEICO argued that it
did not need to pay them overtime because they fell under the
"administrative function" exemption of the Fair Labor Standards
(Reporting by Robert Iafolla; Editing by Will Dunham)