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Class Action Trends Report Fall 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter work lives in profound ways, employers are confronted with additional liability risks. The pandemic has created a wave of litigation that is unlikely to ebb until well after the unprecedented public health crisis recedes. In this issue, Jackson Lewis attorneys discuss the risks of WARN Act litigation among the … Continue Reading

Pandemic necessitates review of donning and doffing policies

As federal and state safety and health guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic call for extensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace, employers should give their policies on “donning and doffing” a fresh look. Pandemic-related reopening orders issued by state and local governments may include requirements that will require employers to … Continue Reading

The Meaning of “Similarly Situated” Is Teed up for SCOTUS

The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to fill a gaping hole in our Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) jurisprudence: What, precisely, is meant by “similarly situated,” as set forth in 29 U.S.C. 216(b)? The request comes in a petition for certiorari of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit … Continue Reading

No Personal Jurisdiction Over Out-of-State Employees’ Claims to Certify FLSA Collective Action, Pennsylvania Court Rules

In Weirbach v. Cellular Connection, LLC, a federal district court in Pennsylvania declined to conditionally certify a nationwide collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) because it found it did not have personal jurisdiction over the claims of employees who lived and worked outside of Pennsylvania. While district courts are sharply divided on … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit: Arbitrator Properly Interpreted Arbitration Agreement to Allow for Collective Claims

Consistent with the terms of the arbitration agreement at issue, an hourly fuel tech and driver is entitled to arbitrate collective claims alleging that his employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal appeals court in New Orleans has ruled.  Sun Coast Resources Inc. v. Roy Conrad, No. 19-20058 (5th Cir. Apr. 16, … Continue Reading

FLSA Collective Action Trimmed Because Court Lacked Specific Jurisdiction

A Minnesota federal district court recently denied FLSA conditional certification over the claims of workers who were not assigned to a Minnesota project at issue or not Minnesota residents due to specific jurisdiction considerations. Vallone et al. v. The CJS Solutions Group, LLC, No. 19-1532 (D. Minn. Feb. 5, 2020). The court based its decision … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rules that Moonlighting Police Officers are Employees, not Independent Contractors

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that all officers of a private security and traffic control company were “employees,” rather than independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The case is Acosta v. Off Duty Police Services, Inc., Nos. 17-5995 and 17-6071 (6th Cir. Feb. 12, 2019). Off Duty Police Services (“ODPS”), in Louisville, Kentucky, offers private security … Continue Reading

Court Decertifies Class of Female Drivers’ Hostile Work Environment Claims, Trims Retaliation Claims

Finding that the case involved “actions perpetuated by one individual against another individual in an isolated environment, not conduct in a common environment directed against several women at once,” Chief Judge Leonard Strand decertified a class of female truck drivers that alleged they were subject to a hostile work environment. Sellers v. CRST Expedited, Inc., … Continue Reading

The FLSA Does Not Prohibit Collective Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements, Sixth Circuit Holds

Extending the Supreme Court’s recent decision in  Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1612 (2018), the Sixth Circuit has held that, just as with the NLRA, the FLSA does not preclude the use of class or collective action waivers in employment-related arbitration agreements.  Gaffers v. Kelly Services, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22613 (6th Cir. Aug. … Continue Reading

Defining Who Is Part of the FLSA Collective Action Party

It is a party that most employers don’t believe is a lot of fun: a FLSA collective action party.  In a case of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit addressed the question of whether an opt-in plaintiff is required to do anything beyond filing a written consent to become a party plaintiff in a collective action … Continue Reading

Court Finds Individualized Issues Predominate and Grants Company’s Motion to Decertify Branch Administrators’ Class

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana recently decided a case highlighting the importance of clear employer policies when it comes to wage payment issues. In Smith v. Professional Transportation Inc. et al., 13-cv-00221 (N.D. Ind. January 26, 2018), the named plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to pay Branch Administrators … Continue Reading

Jackson Lewis Class Action Trends Report Winter 2018 Now Available

Below is a link to the latest issue of the Jackson Lewis Class Action Trends Report.  This report is published on a quarterly basis by our firm’s class action practice group in conjunction with Wolters Kluwer.  We hope you will find this issue to be informative and insightful.  Using our considerable experience in defending hundreds of … Continue Reading

Restaurant Supply Driver’s Federal FLSA Claims Shown the Exit Ramp on MSJ Ruling

Finding not a “scintilla” of evidence to support claims of minimum wage violations, a New York federal district court in Yu Sen Chen et al v. MG Wholesale Distribution Inc. et al, 16-cv-04439 (E.D.N.Y.) dismissed a proposed collective action (and refused to exercise supplemental jurisdiction of the corresponding state law claims).  In doing so, the … Continue Reading

Class Action Filed Against NCAA and 20 Universities Alleging Student-Athletes with Scholarships Are Employees

In the latest effort to argue that student athletes qualify as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), a class action lawsuit was filed last week in a federal court in Pennsylvania against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) and 20 universities. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed … Continue Reading

Jackson Lewis Class Action Trends Report Summer 2017 Now Available

Below is a link to the latest issue of the Jackson Lewis Class Action Trends Report.  This report is published on a quarterly basis by our firm’s class action practice group in conjunction with Wolters Kluwer.  We hope you will find this issue to be informative and insightful.  Using our considerable experience in defending hundreds of … Continue Reading

ALERT: Senate confirms Acosta as Secretary of Labor

Today the U.S. Senate approved Alexander Acosta as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor by a vote of 60-38.  Click here to read more background information on Acosta.  Acosta’s nomination was previously approved by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee by a 12-11 party line vote in March. Chief among the issues awaiting Acosta is … Continue Reading

Judge Decertifies Class Based on Plaintiffs’ Differing Accounts of Their Responsibilities

Those who follow developments in wage and hour class actions know that challenges to the exempt status of assistant managers are quite common. Such cases often hinge on a detailed analysis of the actual job duties performed—with the plaintiffs claiming that the entire class performed little or no managerial work and the employer claiming that … Continue Reading

How Does the Supreme Court’s Remand of the Transgender Discrimination Case Impact Wage-and-Hour Class Actions?

On March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court, in a one-sentence summary disposition, remanded the case of Gloucester County Sch. Bd. v. G.G. to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit “for further consideration in light of the guidance document issued by the Department of Education and Department of Justice on February 22, 2017.”  … Continue Reading

Paying Bonuses to Non-Exempt Employees: Avoiding Class-Wide Overtime Violations

Employers generally recognize that their non-exempt employees must receive overtime premiums on their base pay – in most cases, their hourly wage – when they work overtime. However, not all employers are as well attuned to the requirement that overtime premiums may also be required on other, “supplemental” components of compensation to nonexempt employees. Bonuses … Continue Reading

Straightening Out the Fluctuating Hour Workweek: Evaluating the Risks and Benefits of One Method of Overtime Payment

With the Department of Labor’s recent changes to the salary threshold for white-collar exemptions set to take effect on December 1, 2016, many employers are struggling to find the best option for how to comply with the new regulations without breaking the bank. One lesser-known alternative that is receiving increased attention from many companies is the … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Holds Rule 23 Class Actions Can Proceed In Same Suit As FLSA Collective Actions

In a case for minimum wage and overtime claims, the Eleventh Circuit joined the D.C., Second, Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits in holding that a state-law Rule 23 class action may be maintained in the same proceeding as a Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) collective action.  Calderone, et. al. v. Scott, No. 2:14-cv-00519-JES-CM (11th Cir. … Continue Reading

Middle District of Florida Finds Certification of FLSA Collective Action and Rule 23 Class Action Claims To Be Inconsistent

In a case for overtime compensation, the Middle District of Florida (Fort Myers Division) held that plaintiffs’ claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 were “mutually exclusive and irreconcilable.” Tamera Goers, et. al. v. L.A. Entertainment Group and Amer Salameh, No. 15-cv-412-FtM-99CM (Aug. 25, 2016). Contending they … Continue Reading

Uber-Frustrating: Tips to Facilitate Approval of Settlements of Class Actions

On April 21, 2016, Uber tried to buy its peace from two class actions in a $100 million settlement with 385,000 putative class members. See O’Connor v. Uber Technologies Inc., 3:13-cv-03826 (N.D. Cal.); Yucesoy v. Uber Technologies Inc., 3:15-cv-00262 (N.D. Cal.).  However, as of July 14, 2016, the class actions still remain open pending court approval … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Issues Employer-Friendly Ruling on FLSA Tip Credit

The Fair Labor Standards Act has long provided that an employer may satisfy its federal minimum wage obligations for a tipped employee by applying the employee’s tips as a credit toward the minimum wage and, in doing so, directly pay such employee less than the general minimum wage. If the employer’s wages plus the employee’s … Continue Reading
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