The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to settle the circuit split on whether its 2017 decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal. applies to collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
In Bristol-Myers, a mass tort action, the justices held that a federal court could not exercise specific personal jurisdiction over nonresident plaintiffs’ claims against a nonresident company. Federal courts have split over whether this precedent applies to collective actions under FLSA Sec. 216(b). The majority of circuit courts to address the issue have held that Bristol-Myers applies to collective actions including, most recently, the Third Circuit, in its 2022 decision in Fischer v. Federal Express Corp. The justices denied a petition to review Fischer, leaving the circuit split intact.