A local Fashion School is defending itself against current and former teachers in a class action lawsuit for unpaid wages. The lawsuit was filed against the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, FIDM, on October 28. The teachers in this class action claim that FIDM did not pay overtime and did not reimburse them for expenses.
FIDM is a fashion school with branch campuses in Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff is Amanda Ferguson. Ferguson alleges that certain teachers at FIDM were not properly paid overtime, although they regularly worked more than 8 hours a day and worked for more than 40 hours a week. The lawsuit also claims that the teachers were not reimbursed for travel and business expenses. The lead plaintiff also claims that she was fired without being paid the wages that she had earned. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Ferguson is a former faculty member of FIDM’s Los Angeles branch.
California Overtime Law for Post-Secondary Teachers and Professors
The Industrial Welfare Commission specifies in wage order 4-2001 that certain professional employees are not entitled to overtime wages, if the professional meets the following criteria:
1. They are licensed or certified by the State of California to engage in a listed profession, which includes teaching;
2. The professional uses independent judgment and discretion in performing their duties;
3. The professional earns no less than twice the minimum wage for full-time work (currently $33,280);