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Supremes to Tackle Car Lot ‘Adviser’ Overtime

(CN) - The Supreme Court will attempt to resolve a circuit split this spring, agreeing Friday to consider whether "service advisers" at auto dealerships are exempt from overtime pay under federal law.

Three employees of Encino Motorcars sued their employer, claiming that while the Federal Labor Standards Act exempts "any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles" from overtime rules, they as "service advisers" do not meet this definition since Encino pays the advisers commission only to meet with customers and solicit their business after evaluate their service or repair needs.

A federal judge found the employees meet the statutory exemption, but that decision was reversed by the Ninth Circuit in early 2015.

The three-judge panel found the federal exemption ambiguous as to service advisers, since they do not sell, fix or stock parts for cars - they sell services for cars. But the circuit's decision split from Fourth and Fifth Circuit precedents, necessitating the Supreme Court's involvement in the case.

Per its custom, the high court did not issue any comment on the matter.

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