Judgment for Unpaid Overtime Obtained in Kern County

On March 10, 2016, the Kern County Superior Court entered judgment in favor of Warren Davis against his former employer, Komoto Pharmacy, Inc., for nearly $80,000 in unpaid overtime and interest thereon. Davis, a licensed pharmacist and the “pharmacist-in-charge” of Komoto Medical Pharmacy in Bakersfield, alleged that he was not paid overtime when he worked over eight hours in a day or 40 hours a week, as required by California law. Medical Pharmacy argued that Davis, as the “pharmacist-in-charge,” was exempt from overtime pay. Davis also brought additional claims, including a claim for wrongful termination.

Judge David R. Lampe of the Kern County Superior Court found for Davis on the claim for unpaid overtime after a bench trial. The court found that Komoto Pharmacy failed to prove that Davis was exempt from overtime pay, and that Davis worked on average 15 hours of overtime per month. Including interest, the court awarded Davis $79,341.32 on his claim for unpaid overtime.

Michael Strauss, who represented Davis at trial, was pleased with the outcome. “Mr. Davis worked hard for Medical Pharmacy, and I’m happy that he is finally being awarded the overtime that he earned.”

By California law, pharmacists cannot be exempt from overtime under the “professional” exemption, which is available to professionals such as doctors, lawyers, architects, dentists, optometrists, engineers, teachers, or accountants. Pharmacists can only be exempt from overtime under the “administrative” or “executive” exemptions set forth in California’s IWC Wage Orders and the Labor Code. (See Lab. Code, § 1186.)

A copy of the court’s statement of decision is here. 

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