Tag Archives: FLSA

DOL Memo Provides Script for FLSA Collective Actions Alleging Independent Contractor Misclassification

The all-time best The Far Side cartoon (based on an unscientific survey, sample size of me) is the one with two deer standing in the forest, one with a red circular target imprinted on its chest. The other deer says, “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.” Poor Hal. Blessed with the ability to walk upright, but … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Addressing Scope of Wage and Hour Class and Collective Actions

It’s hard enough to predict what the Supreme Court will do on a given case even after it has been briefed and oral argument has been heard. It’s even harder when all we have is the decision accepting certiorari, but this one is important enough to note. The Supreme Court has now accepted certiorari in a … Continue Reading

Gawker Interns and the Use of Social Media to Notify Potential Class Members

Social media has dramatically impacted many areas of law, and class and collective action litigation is no exception. Recently, a number of former interns who sued Gawker Media LLC and its owner Nick Denton (Gawker) for wage and hour claims repeatedly sought court approval to distribute court-authorized notice of the action through social media. The … Continue Reading

Opalinski v. Robert Half International, Inc. — A Footnote in a Prior Opinion Doesn’t Signal the Supreme Court’s Willingness to Resolve Who Decides the Availability of Class Arbitration

After reading the Supreme Court’s opinion in Oxford Health Plans, LLC v. Sutter, 133 S. Ct. 2064 (2013), some might have concluded that the Court was ready to resolve who determines the availability of class arbitration court or arbitrator — in the right case. See 133 S. Ct. at 2068 n.2. But on March 9, … Continue Reading

Nevada Supreme Court Finds Class of Strippers Were Employees

Given the extensive use of euphemisms in the exotic dancing trade, we’ll apologize in advance for any unintended puns. We’ve written on the issue of the classification of exotic dancers or strippers in the past [April 8, 2011, October 19, 2011, November 21, 2012], but the question continues to ripple through the courts.  While the … Continue Reading

Ohio District Judges Puts an End to Nationwide FLSA Collective Action Brought Against Lowe’s

While we have occasionally bemoaned the lenient conditional certification standard in FLSA collective actions, as the recent case of Triggs v. Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc., No. 1:13-cv-1897 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 19, 2014) shows, not all courts are willing to rubberstamp collective actions onto the second stage of litigation. The six plaintiffs in Triggs were former … Continue Reading

Another Federal Court Decertifies FLSA Collective Action of Hospital Workers Challenging Auto-Deduct Policy

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, … Continue Reading

Court Sends Plaintiffs Back to the Locker Room Unhappy When It Denies Conditional Certification

In January 2014, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell raised eyebrows (and ire) when he announced that the league was considering eliminating the extra point after a touchdown.  As Goodell put it, “the extra point is almost automatic,” given that it is kicked from the twenty yard line, and it is exceptionally rare that a professional NFL … Continue Reading

Minnesota District Court Rejects Nationwide Scope and Conditionally Certifies Class of One Chipotle Store

Employees win most motions for conditional certification under the FLSA, with many courts declining to perform a probing analysis at that stage.  A recent case from the District of Minnesota, in which the court still applied a deferential standard, had the unusual result that the court granted conditional certification as to a single Chipotle store … Continue Reading

New York District Court Conditionally Certifies Class of Interns

A Blog About Bloggers Have you read any of the following lately? “Chinese Government Fans the Flames of the Ebola Zombie Rumors” “Arrested for Marijuana, Jackie Chan’s Son Could Face Execution” “Who is Dumpling All These Tuxedo Cats at a California Animal Shelter?” These are all recent headlines from various blogs run by Gawker Media … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Pseudo-Expert Reports and Refuses to Certify Off-the-Clock Case

Off-the-clock cases involving call centers have been in vogue for a number of years despite lingering issues regarding whether they can truly be resolved on a class-wide basis.  A recent case from the District of Maryland, Faust v. Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC, Civil Action No. WMN-10-2336 (July 15, 2014), suggests that they cannot.  Further, … Continue Reading

Third Circuit: Availability of Classwide Arbitration is an Issue for the Courts – Not Arbitrators – Unless the Parties Agreed Otherwise

Wednesday, the Third Circuit held that the determination of whether an agreement allows classwide arbitration is a question of arbitrability for the courts “unless the parties unmistakably provide otherwise.”  Opalinski v. Robert Half International Inc., Case No. 12-4444 (3d Cir. July 30, 2014). In Opalinski, former Robert Half International, Inc. (RHI) employees filed a putative … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Petition that Proceeding as a Collective Action Under the FLSA is a Non-Waivable Substantive Right

In the last week, we have seen several significant decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court.  On Monday, however, the Court made a noteworthy “non-decision” by declining a petition for certiorari that raised the question of whether a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act is a non-waivable, substantive right. In Walthour v. Chipio Windshield … Continue Reading

Federal Courts Continue To Find Claims Adjusters Exempt

We have previously discussed how, over the past 10+ years, courts have increasingly recognized that insurance claims adjusters are exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The recent cases of Estrada v. Maguire Ins. Agency, Inc., 12-cv-604 (E.D. Penn. Feb. 28, 2014) and Locke v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Florida, 12-cv-1430 (E.D. Cal. … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment On Overtime Claims For Class of Tax Professionals

Relatively few FLSA cases are certified and then reach a court of appeals on the merits, but that recently happened before the Eighth Circuit.  In Petroski v. H&R Block Enterprises, LLC, Case No. 13-2076 (8th Cir. May 2, 2014), the plaintiffs were tax preparers who worked for H&R Block.  They brought suit under the FLSA … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Refuses to Enforce Post-Suit Arbitration Agreements Based upon Employer Misconduct

The British have a phrase “too clever by half” to describe complex schemes that ultimately won’t work. We all know from cases such as Concepcion, Stolt-Nielsen, Italian Colors, and their progeny that arbitration agreements are far more likely to be enforced today than only a year or two ago, particularly in the class action context.  … Continue Reading

California District Court Disqualifies Class Counsel for Conflict of Interest

Is more of a good thing a better thing?  In some contexts, not, as reflected by a recent case from the Northern District of California.  In Lou v. Ma Laboratories, Inc., Case No. C 12-05409 WHA (N.D. Cal. Jan. 8, 2014), the plaintiffs brought two class or collective actions against the same employer for claimed … 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

New York District Court Grants Summary Judgment Against FLSA Class of Insurance Claims Adjusters

In a number of cases, the plaintiffs’ strategy in collective active litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act may fall into a familiar pattern:  file the case, do minimal discovery, move for conditional certification under the first-tier lenient standard, and then settle before decertification.  While frustrating for employers, it can be, and often is, a … Continue Reading

Employers Win Some, Lose Some, in California Cases Started Prior to Dukes

Despite blockbuster cases like Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), and Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 273 P.3d 513, 527 (Cal. 2012), California remains a hotbed of employment class litigation as a recent spate of cases reflects.  The Dukes case and others have certainly helped to level the playing field … Continue Reading

New York District Court Denies Certification and Conditional Certification of Class of Personal Bankers

One can only imagine the outcome the plaintiffs’ attorneys were anticipating:  a case against the financial industry, involving non-exempt employees subject to an auto-deduct policy for meal periods, in the Southern District of New York.  It seems like a laundry list of many types of claims that have been certified, and they no doubt expected … Continue Reading
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