Tag Archives: “wage and hour”

California District Court Rejects Overtime Settlement Over $50,000 Incentive Awards

Large incentive awards continue to jeopardize class action settlements.  We wrote on February 14 about recent cases in which Circuit Courts rejected settlements due to disproportionate incentive awards.  A recent case from the Central District of California reflects that lower courts are taking a close look at such awards and the relationship of the size … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of RICO Claims

Is there a statute with a better acronym than RICO? The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, apart from its great acronym, has been both a great success and a tool for misuse.  We don’t often see RICO claims in the employment context, let alone employment class actions, and we can’t resist commenting on a … 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

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

Federal Court Decertifies Wisconsin FLSA Class Of Meat Processing “Kill Department” And “Boning Department” Employees

We have blogged a number of cases in which courts have conditionally certified FLSA actions, only to later decertify them when the specter of trial begins to loom.  While FLSA decertification cases often involve office or sales employees, as a federal court in Wisconsin recently demonstrated, efficiently resolving FLSA collective actions at trial can quickly … Continue Reading

The Fourth Circuit Uncovers A Lack Of Certification Analysis In Recent Pinkerton Class Action

On November 6, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States.  Shortly after his election, rumors of a possible plot to assassinate the decidedly pro-Union President-elect began to circulate.  With several Southern states threatening secession from the Union, the tension in the D.C. area was palpable.  On February 23, 1861, Lincoln … Continue Reading

Sutherland Case Reveals Problems In Applying Effective Vindication Of Rights Analysis To Class Action Waivers

Introduction In April 2010, Stephanie Sutherland (“Sutherland”) filed a putative class action against Ernst & Young under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York law claiming that low-level accountants were improperly deprived of proper compensation for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Ernst & Young filed a motion to dismiss … Continue Reading

Missouri Court Denies Conditional Certification Of Off-The-Clock Case

In some respects, one of the most difficult types of wage and hours lawsuits are so-called “off-the-clock” cases in which the employer has promulgated lawful time-keeping and compensation policies, but the plaintiffs contend that they were somehow discouraged from recording their time.  These cases are almost impossible to handle on a class-wide basis because, virtually … Continue Reading

Ohio District Court Denies Conditional Certification In FLSA Case

We’ve commented before that while most courts apply a fairly lenient standard at the “conditional certification” phase of Fair Labor Standards Act collective action litigation, plaintiffs tend to have a harder time in so-called “off-the-clock” cases.  A recent decision from the Southern District of Ohio reflects that obtaining conditional certification can also be difficult where … Continue Reading

The Seventh Circuit Affirms That The District Court Bit Off More Than It Could Chew By Affirming Decertification In Collective Action

Hollywood certainly believes that it’s often easier to reach back into the well than to spend time creating something new.  (See, e.g., any movie series that has more than one sequel.)  Sometimes, we here at the Employment Class Action Blog are no different.  Take, for example, this week’s Seventh Circuit decision in Espenscheid v. DirectSat, … Continue Reading

Florida District Court Denies Conditional Certification in Off-the-Clock Case

Courts often cite the generally lenient standard for conditional certification, but that standard, like any other, has its limits.  In Holmes v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc.pdf., Case No. 11-80567 (S.D. Fla. June 14, 2012), the plaintiffs sought to represent a class of phlebotomists for Quest Diagnostics nationwide.  They claimed that the company essentially required off-the-clock time … Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Denied, But No Class Certification In Tip Dispute

On September 30, 2010, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered an interesting order in a case involving multiple issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act.   In Travers v JetBlue Airways.pdf., airline JetBlue engaged an independent contractor named Flight Services and Systems (“FSS”) to provide skycaps Boston Logan Airport.  Because … Continue Reading

21 Club “Gets Served” On Overtime Class Claims

“……and Please Remember to Tip Your Bartender And Waitress.” The famous 21 Club in New York was on the Curly end of a Larry-esque double-slap from the Southern District of New York last week. Alderman v. 21 Club.pdf Case No. 1:09-cv-2418 (Aug. 20, 2010). By way of background, the plaintiff employees in Alderman are seeking to … Continue Reading

$175 Million Settlement in Sex Bias Class Action

While most employment class actions today address overtime or independent contractor issues, discrimination actions are still alive and very dangerous for employers. Last May, a New York jury awarded $3.4 million in compensatory damages, and $250 million in punitive damages against pharmaceutical company Novartis in a case alleging sex discrimination involving sales representatives. That’s a … Continue Reading

Federal Court in New York Denies Class Certification of Independent Contractors’ Misclassification Claim

On June 16, 2010, a federal court in New York held that a group of newspaper delivery drivers who claimed they were wrongfully misclassified as independent contractors under New York law could not pursue their claims as a class action. Edwards v. Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc., No. 09 Civ. 4968 (S.D.N.Y. 6/16/10).  In an effort to … Continue Reading