A high-ranking federal court handed good news today to California's labor pool.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has overturned an Orange County Republican federal judge who'd granted Oracle Corporation summary judgement against employees who claimed the company had systematically cheated them.
According to the federal panel, Santa Ana-based U.S. District Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler, appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, misapplied California labor law designed to prevent companies from avoiding overtime pay.
The 12-page opinion written by Judge William A. Fletcher noted that both
the Ninth Circuit and the California Supreme Court believe that Stotler, a former Orange County deputy district attorney,
had erred by siding with Oracle's practice of refusing to pay overtime
to certain employees who were required to travel extensively across the nation and work
longer than 40 hours a week.
The ruling wasn't a total victory for the cheated employees, however.
Fletcher and his colleagues said their opinion applies only to wages the
company avoided paying for work performed in California.
Oracle, a multinational corporation with annual revenues topping $36 billion, provides computer hardware and software services.
–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly