Todd Dawson

Subscribe to all posts by Todd Dawson

Seventh Circuit Fires Warning Shot, USERRA May Require Paid Military Leave

In a case that it characterized as one of first impression in the federal courts of appeals, the Seventh Circuit held last week that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq. (“USERRA”), may, in some circumstances, require employers to provide paid leave to employees absent from work due to … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Finds Grievance Settlement Extinguished FLSA Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Stuntz v. Lion Elastomers, LLC, Case No. 19-40336 (Sept. 23, 2020), offers some reassurance to employers that wage and hour issues can be properly (and finally) resolved in grievance settlements. The employer in Stuntz permitted its production employees to clock in as early … Continue Reading

Travel Time Compensable Under California Law Despite Contrary Union Agreement

While California’s wage-and-hour rules recognize a number of exceptions for employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement, the California Supreme Court’s denial of review in Gutierrez v. Brand Energy Svcs. of Calif. is a reminder that such exceptions are not without limits. Case No. A154604, review denied 9/9/20. The California wage order at issue in … Continue Reading

Denial of Conditional Certification Highlights Importance of Handbook Policies

A recent decision from the Eastern District of Wisconsin serves as a strong reminder that well-crafted handbook policies can sometimes save the day for employers in proposed Fair Labor Standards Act collective actions. Amandah v. Alro Steel Corp., No. 19-CV-1607-JPS (E.D. Wis. Aug. 21, 2020). The plaintiff in Amandah brought a proposed collective action against … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Nixes Obama Recess Appointees To NLRB

D.R. Horton Ruling May Survive, However With all due respect, Meatloaf, you were wrong. It turns out that two out of three is, in fact, bad. The United States Supreme Court held today that President Obama’s 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were not valid recess appointments under the United States Constitution. NLRB … Continue Reading

Employer Loses WARN Affirmative Defenses In Class Action Due To Insufficient Description In Notice

“The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword…And Verbal Communications During Company-Wide Employee Meetings.” Things seem to be going from bad to worse for defunct law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf. As criminal charges continue to loom for some former Dewey partners, the judge overseeing Dewey’s bankruptcy has now ruled that the firm cannot assert the “faltering … Continue Reading

Rule 68 Offer That Excludes Individual Claim Does Not Moot Putative FLSA Collective Action

“The Last Inch Is The One That Counts”  The recent decision in Silva v. Tegrity Personnel Svcs., Inc., Case No. 4:13-cv-00860 (S.D. Tex. 12/5/2013), suggests that some district courts haven’t fully embraced the Supreme Court’s holding in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, 133 S. Ct. 1523, 1528 (2013).  The plaintiff in Silva filed a proposed … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Employer’s Directed Verdict Based On FLSA Outside Sales Exemption

“I Blew Off My Exempt Duties” Insufficient To Establish Jury Question. Slackers everywhere may have shed a tear in their Doritos on Friday after reading the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Reyes v. Goya Foods, Inc., Case No. 13-12827 (11th Cir. 12/6/13).  The plaintiff in Reyes sought to bring an FLSA collective action against the defendant … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Adopts New Standard For Establishing CAFA Jurisdiction Following Standard Fire

Crow Doesn’t Taste Too Bad….If You Season It Right. AT&T Mobility appears determined to make it onto the Christmas card list of every employer in the United States. In yet another big win for AT&T, the Ninth Circuit recently overturned its own case law and held that a defendant must establish CAFA’s $5 million jurisdictional amount simply by a preponderance of the … Continue Reading

Dukes Of Hazard: Uniform Auto-Deduct Meal/Break Policy Insufficient to Establish 23(a)(2) Commonality

The Supreme Court’s Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes opinion has once again played Bo and Luke to a plaintiff’s Boss Hogg. The plaintiffs in Raposo v. Garelick Farms LLC, Case No. 11-11943, D. Mass. (July 11, 2013), were truck drivers who made deliveries out of two locations operated by a dairy distribution company.  The company … Continue Reading

That’s A Spicy Meatball!

What Does The Supreme Court’s Decision In Italian Colors Mean For The NLRB’s D.R. Horton Decision?  As our readers will no doubt recall, the Supreme Court boldly struck a blow for truth, justice and the American Way a few years ago in its approval of class action waivers in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. … Continue Reading

Conditional Certification Of Assistant Manager Overtime Class Denied…..For Now

No “One-And-Done” Rule For FLSA Collective Actions Perhaps it’s a tad unrealistic, but here’s hoping that John Calipari’s one-and-done recruiting strategies start influencing FLSA jurisprudence now that he’s finally won a national championship. From an employer’s perspective, it’s hard to tell whether the recent denial of conditional certification in Jenkins v. The TJX Companies is … Continue Reading

In Through the Out Door: Third Circuit Says FLSA Collective Actions Not Incompatible With Rule 23 State Law Class Actions

In a decision that will thrill readers of all ages with its scintillating recitation of the Portal-to-Portal Act’s legislative history, the Third Circuit has held that there is no inherent incompatibility between the opt-in mechanism of Section 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (that’s 29 U.S.C. 216(b) for those of you keeping score at … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Denies Rule 23 Class Certification Based On Actual Duties

Is the GOP slipping something into the water supply in San Francisco?  Do they know some dirty secrets about some Ninth Circuit judges?  Has the whole world gone crazy? The Ninth Circuit’s decision a few days ago in Delodder v. Aerotek, Inc. continues an encouraging—and surprising—trend in Ninth Circuit wage and hour law toward emphasizing … Continue Reading

Inadvertent ESI Disclosure Of Attorney-Client Communication Waives Privilege In FLSA Collective Action

“Hey, Where’d You Get That Document?” ESI has become one of the most despised three-letter combinations in corporate America (and the lawyers who dutifully serve it). The costs and risks associated with a company’s duty to preserve ESI are a headache of their own, but the dangers in production turn that headache into a full-fledged … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court’s Harris Decision May Become a Helpful Tool in Defeating Class Certification–Or Maybe it Won’t

An Irritable Pessimist’s View of a Welcome Decision After several years of waiting, the California Supreme Court handed down its long-anticipated decision in Harris v. Superior Court last week. Given the natural-born suspicion held by management-side lawyers toward anything that wanders its way out of the wilderness that is the California courts, it probably comes as … Continue Reading

If At First You Don’t Succeed….Your “Plan B” Will Probably Fail, Too

Having already struck out on a curveball they thought was a fastball over the middle of the plate, Schering Corp. is now 0 for 2 following the latest ruling from the Connecticut federal district court in Kuzinski et al. v. Schering Corp.pdf., Case No. 3:07-cv-0233-JBA (D. Conn. August 5, 2011).  The case began over four years ago, when Schering’s sales reps … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Sends Mixed Signals in Affirming Denial of Class Certification.

The Second Appellate District in California recently affirmed a trial court’s refusal to certify a class of store managers in Mora, et al. v. Big Lots Stores, Inc.pdf., Case No. B221949 (April 18, 2011).  Whether this case should be treated as a welcome sign for employers, however, remains an enigma wrapped inside a riddle (served … Continue Reading

Sanctions Recommended For Opt-In Plaintiffs In FLSA Collective Action

“Hey, Judge, You Don’t Understand……I Just Wanted The Money!” About two dozen people who opted into an FLSA collective action in Nevada federal court may soon be reminded that the pinch is usually in the fine print. Magistrate Judge Peggy A. Leen recommended sanctions against these individuals after they refused to respond to discovery. In … Continue Reading