We have previously discussed that, while medical providers have become a common target of plaintiffs asserting wage and hour claims arising out of so-called “auto-deduct” policies, more and more courts are realizing that the inherently fact-specific nature of these lawsuits make class treatment very difficult. See our posts from June 23, 2014, and September 17, 2014]. The recent case of Jarosz v. St. Mary Medical Center, 10-cv-3330 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 22, 2014), is the latest court to continue this trend.
In Jarosz, the plaintiffs were current and former health care employees of St. Mary Medical Center who were subject to an automatic 30 minute meal period deduction which, they claimed, applied even when they worked during this period. There was no system-wide mechanism for scheduling or cancelling the automatic meal deductions. Rather, this process was left largely to the discretion of the 175 or so individual departments. St. Mary’s eventually agreed to conditional certification of all its current and former employees who had direct patient care duties during the class period under the FLSA. Notice was sent out to 2,211 such employees, of which only 64 decided to join the class. Of those 64, the court dismissed 34 on various grounds. After discovery, St. Mary’s moved to decertify the remnants of the class. Continue Reading