Tag Archives: FLSA

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

Sixth Circuit Addresses RICO and FLSA Claims

Successful FLSA plaintiffs will likely receive not only the claimed unpaid overtime or minimum wage, but also liquidated (double) damages and payment of their attorney fees. But what if they want . . . more? Will a RICO claim get them additional funds? That was the question the Sixth Circuit has answered in a pair … Continue Reading

Arkansas District Court Reduces Attorney Fees in FLSA Collective Action to $1

It’s hard not to express cynicism when discussing attorney fee awards in overtime class and collective actions. Courts have adopted wildly different tests and benchmarks, and different jurisdictions apply very different levels of scrutiny. The availability of fees has fueled the epic growth in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class and collective litigation. Many of … Continue Reading

Maryland District Court Grants Summary Judgment Against Collective Class in Claimed Misclassification Case

Misclassification cases are grist for the mill in wage and hour litigation. As we have pointed out previously, the typical pattern is for the plaintiff to assert claims for unpaid overtime on the grounds that the position involved allegedly did not entail exempt work, to obtain conditional certification under the lower “stage one” procedure and then … Continue Reading

Maryland District Court Refuses Conditional Certification of Proposed Class of Grocery Store Managers

Grocery stores have taken on special prominence as being on the front lines of the current coronavirus pandemic. Just as that role was becoming apparent, the federal district court in Maryland issued a strong opinion not only denying conditional certification for a class of grocery store managers, but also dismissing many of their claims. In … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Now Addresses When Notices of Collective Action Can be Given to Employees Who May Have Arbitration Agreements Waiving Their Right to Join

Whether to give notices of a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to employees who may join presents some nuanced and challenging questions for district courts. The court must “respect judicial neutrality and avoid even the appearance of endorsing the action’s merits.” See Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. v. Sperling, 493 U.S. 165, 171-174 (1989). … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Finds Multiple Problems With Certification of Off-the-Clock Claims

A recent case from the Third Circuit casts a spotlight on many of the problems inherent in so-called off-the-clock claims for overtime. In Ferreras v. American Airlines, Case No. 18-3143 (3d Cir. Dec. 24, 2019), the plaintiffs claimed that various employer time-keeping policies resulted in employees not being paid for all hours worked. One was … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds That Rule 68 Can Be Used To Settle FLSA Claims

Many litigants in FLSA cases find practical obstacles in settling the matters, particularly when there are disputes regarding what exactly has happened or when the underlying claim turns out to be very small. This process is made more difficult by the judicial interpretation of the FLSA’s enforcement provision, section 16, which permits the Department of … Continue Reading

Louisiana District Court Decertifies FLSA Class of Warehouse Supervisors

We’ve noted many times that while employees prevail on most motions for conditional certification under the FLSA, employers tend to prevail on the second stage motion for decertification. A recent case reflects that continuing reality, but also highlights weaknesses in the two-stage paradigm that work to the disadvantage employers irrespective of the merits (or lack … Continue Reading

District Court Refuses Conditional Certification of “Policy to Violate the Policy” Case

In collective actions under the FLSA, courts typically apply a lower standard to the first “conditional certification” stage. In some cases, that might be warranted, but in many instances courts will undertake an unduly lenient review and conditionally certify cases that have no business proceeding as a class and have no realistic prospect of surviving … Continue Reading

District Court Decertifies FLSA Collective Action With Independent Contractor Issues

We’ve commented many times before that relatively few collective actions survive the “second stage” motion to decertify or, relatedly, an unofficial “third stage” when the trial court actually considers how the matter will be managed at trial. Here is another variation on that theme – an unusual case involving a lender’s claimed involvement in the … Continue Reading

Missouri District Court Decertifies FLSA Class of IT Workers

We’ve noted before that while conditional certification motions are often granted, such classes fare far less well at the second decertification stage and just as poorly on the eve of trial. See: “Ninth Circuit Affirms Decertification of FLSA Off-the-Clock Case” from Sept. 21, 2018, and “Ohio District Court Decertifies Class of Health Care Workers in … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Addresses Notices of Collective Action for Those Who Signed Arbitration Agreements Requiring Only Individual Claims

The intersection of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action procedures and employee arbitration agreements waiving aggregate actions has led to differing approaches among the district courts. In JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Case No. 18-20825, decided Feb. 21, 2019), the Fifth Circuit found that a district court does not have “discretion to send or require … Continue Reading

Another Court Rejects Class Claims Contending That Vocational Students Are Really Employees

In yet another challenge regarding the employment status of students and interns as employees, the Second Circuit has concluded quite rightfully that vocational students – even those at for-profit institutions – are still students. We’ve seen this argument before in the context of both students and interns. (November 15, 2018, December 12, 2017, and May … Continue Reading

District Court Decertifies Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment Suit Against Trucking Company

Most employment class actions today are wage and hour matters, but class actions for alleged discrimination are still brought and can present their own unique challenges for both plaintiffs and the defense. Apart from the procedural differences between Fair Labor Standards Act collective actions and Rule 23 class actions, one key difference between wage and … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Reverses Rule 23 Certification in ‘Off the Clock’ Case

Ruling also touches upon FLSA conditional certification order Many wage and hour cases filed today try to name popular targets and to rely upon tried and true allegations. Unfortunately for employers, this is at times a successful playbook, particularly when settlement is the primary goal. That approach, however, doesn’t always work, particularly if the district … Continue Reading
LexBlog