Westlaw Journal Quotes Rex Heinke on Encino Motorcars SCOTUS Case

Rex Heinke, co-head of the Supreme Court and appellate practice at Akin Gump, has been quoted in the Westlaw Journal Employment article “Auto dealership workers’ OT case may test conservative Supreme Court justices,” discussing the Supreme Court case Encino Motorcars LLC v. Navarro et al. At issue in the case, which was heard January 17—the second such time for the case—is whether auto dealership customer service workers are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime provision.

Lawyers for the dealership, the article reports, argued that the wage law’s overtime exemption should be interpreted broadly and include the service advisors. Counsel for the advisors said their clients, since they are not involved with selling or servicing, should be eligible for overtime pay. The exemption in question excepts from overtime pay “any salesman, partsman or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles.”

Heinke said he anticipates a close ruling in favor of exempting service advisors from overtime provisions: “The first time this case was before the Court, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito voted this way, although the case was decided on a different basis. It is hard to see Justice Neil Gorsuch not joining them.”

“Based on the questions from the chief justice and Justice Anthony Kennedy, they seem to be of the same view,” Heinke said, “and the four liberal justices were plainly of a different view.”