Law Practice Management
Legal Secretaries Pursue Class Action Against IP Boutique, Claim Overtime Violations
Posted Feb 11, 2010 4:04 PM CST
By Martha Neil
A former legal secretary at a BigLaw firm wondered why her new boutique employer didn't pay her overtime, since her former firm did.
That led to federal lawsuit against an Ohio intellectual property boutique, reports the National Law Journal in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.). And the Northern District of Ohio suit has now been conditionally certified as a class action.
An estimated group of 40 legal secretaries could proceed against Turocy & Watson, the NLJ states. Represented by attorney Anthony Lazzaro of Cleveland, they allege that the IP firm misclassified the workers as exempt to avoid paying overtime required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
"I think that there are plenty of law firms out there that are paying secretaries and paralegals a salary without overtime," Lazzaro tells the NLJ. But, although they may not realize it, this violates the FLSA, he says.
Partner Gregory Turocy declined the legal publication's request for comment on the litigation.
Related earlier coverage:
ABAJournal.com: "Exploding OT Claims for Many Employers"
ABAJournal.com: "Plaintiffs Lawyers to Earn Up to $28M in Risky Wal-Mart Wage & Hour Litigation"
ABAJournal.com: "Paralegal Loses Sex Claims, But Can Sue Texas PI Lawyer Over Firing & OT"
ABAJournal.com: "EEOC Sues Kelley Drye, Says Pay Policy for Older Lawyers Discriminates & Seeks Sweeping Relief"