Proskauer on Class and Collective Actions

Category Archives: FLSA

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Seventh Circuit Affirms Denial of Class Certification for Failure to Show Commonality under Dukes in Vacation Pay Suit

Last week, in McCaster et al. v. Darden Restaurants, Inc. et al., No. 15-3258 (7th Cir. Jan. 5, 2017), the Seventh Circuit relied on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338 (2011) and affirmed the district court’s denial of class certification of Plaintiffs’ claims for vacation pay under state law.  The Seventh Circuit’s reliance … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Addresses FLSA Tip Credits Once Again

The Fifth Circuit has had tipping on its mind, as the decision of Steele v. Leasing Enterprises, Ltd., represents its second opinion within ten months addressing this pay practice. On the heels of Montano v. Montrose, the Steele decision tackles the question of whether an employer violates 29 U.S.C §203(m) of the Fair Labor Standards … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Adopts Second Circuit’s “Primary Beneficiary” Test for Unpaid Interns

On September 11, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit became the first appellate court to address the standard for lawful unpaid internships since the Second Circuit’s ruling in Glatt et al. v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. et al. (For more on Glatt, see our post here). The new decision adopts the Glatt test and reasoning wholesale, and … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Revives Contract Attorney’s Misclassification Suit

On July 23, 2015, the Second Circuit, in Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Tower Legal Staffing, Inc., revived a putative collective action brought by David Lola, a contract attorney, against Skadden and Tower Legal Staffing, Inc., alleging violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The Second Circuit … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Adopts The “Highly Individualized” Primary Beneficiary Test In Unpaid Intern Lawsuits

On July 2nd, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decisions in Glatt et al. v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. et al. and Wang et al.  v. The Hearst Corp., the two unpaid intern lawsuits heard in tandem by the court on January 30, 2015.  The court’s opinion in Glatt, … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Refuses Application of Bright-Line Test in FLSA Seaman Exemption Dispute

On November 13, 2014, the Fifth Circuit addressed the uncertainty stemming from its decision in Owens v. SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., 272 F.3d 698 (5th Cir. 2001), wherein the Court found that a plaintiff’s unloading and loading of vessels was considered “nonseaman” work subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) overtime requirements. Subsequent to that decision, … Continue Reading

Lawful Shmawful: Ninth Circuit Ignores Lawful Written Policy and Uses Statistical Sampling to Certify Class Based on Alleged “Unofficial Policy”

On September 3, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld certification of a class of approximately 800 nonexempt insurance claims adjusters who claimed they worked overtime without compensation despite the employer’s lawful written policy to pay nonexempt employees for all hours worked.… Continue Reading

Employers Should Now Run – Not Walk – Toward Adopting Arbitration Agreements in California

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, Case No. S204032, upholding class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements.  This means that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 opinion in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion is to be given full force and effect in the employment setting … Continue Reading

California Courts May No Longer Be Able to Certify a Ham Sandwich

Commentators have quipped that class certification is so easy in California that with little effort a group of plaintiffs could certify even a ham sandwich.  In fact, as we have discussed here, we have seen a proliferation of recent appellate decisions hinging class certification on the mere existence of an employer’s uniform policy – no … Continue Reading

Court Approves FLSA Settlement that Extinguishes Related State Law Claims

When an employer settles a collective action lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), may the settlement agreement also include a release of any rights to overtime pay which the plaintiffs may have under state law? In Wells Fargo Wage and Hour Employment Practices Litigation, MDL No. H-11-2266 (S.D. Tex. May 12, 2014), the … Continue Reading

Rebuking “Trial by Formula,” Federal Court Decertifies Rule 23(b)(3) Class Action

In Stiller v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 3:09-cv-2473-GPC-BGS, Plaintiffs Eric Stiller and Joseph Moro alleged that Costco’s loss-prevention closing procedures effectively “forced” employees to work off-the clock without getting paid because they were required to remain on-site after they had clocked out of their shifts to go through security screenings.  In December 2010, the district … Continue Reading

American Conference International (ACI)

American Conference International (ACI) 21st National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions May 29-30, 2014 New York Marriott East Side Hotel * New York, NY Laura Reathaford has been invited to speak on a panel titled “Donning and Doffing & Walking Time Allegations, and the Latest Claims Arising from Meal and Rest … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Finds District Court Erroneously Applied Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes In Denying Leave to Amend Complaint in Pay Discrimination Suit

In its recent decision in Scott v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No. 12-1610 (4th Cir. Oct. 16, 2013), the Fourth Circuit ruled that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to allow plaintiffs asserting claims of gender-based pay discrimination leave to file an amended complaint based upon an erroneous interpretation of the Rule 23(a) … Continue Reading

CA Supreme Court Holds That Employees Are Bound By Arbitration Agreements Waiving Right To A Labor Comm’r Hearing

Frank Moreno agreed, as a condition of his employment with Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc., to arbitrate all of this employment disputes with his employer.  After terminating his employment with Sonic, Moreno filed an administrative wage claim with the Labor Commissioner for unpaid vacation pay.  Filing such a claim is the first step toward obtaining a “Berman” … Continue Reading

Former Dukes Class Members Foiled by Eleventh Circuit’s “No Piggybacking” Rule

Former Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes class members were dealt another blow this week when Southern District of Florida District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. granted Wal-Mart’s motion to dismiss more regionally-focused class claims that had been brought by certain members of the doomed Dukes class.  In Love v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 12-61959-Civ-SCOLA (S.D. … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Reaffirms Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements Containing Collective Action Waivers In Two FLSA Cases

Two recent decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit have reaffirmed the enforceability of employment-related arbitration agreements containing class action waivers.  In Sutherland v. Ernst & Young and Raniere v. Citigroup, Inc. the Second Circuit held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires courts to enforce a valid agreement to arbitrate … Continue Reading

Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter

Arbitration clauses meant to prohibit class action arbitrations, whether in employment agreements or other documents, need to be reviewed after a recent Supreme Court decision.  In Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter, ___ U.S. ____, No. 12-135 (June 10, 2013),  the Court unanimously upheld an arbitrator’s ruling that a pediatrician could proceed with a class action … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Requires Specificity In FLSA Pleading

In Lundy v. Catholic Health System of Long Island Inc., Plaintiffs – a respiratory therapist and two nurses – sued on behalf of a putative class of similarly situated employees and alleged that the Catholic Health System of Long Island, Inc. (a collection of hospitals and healthcare providers) failed to compensate them for time worked … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Holds That Individualized Damages Preclude Certification

On Monday, February 4, the Seventh Circuit decided Espenscheid v. DirectSat, Inc.  The decision is notable for two holdings.  First, Judge Posner held, rather summarily, that there is no good reason to distinguish certification of opt-in FLSA collectives from opt-out Rule 23 classes, and that the same standards should apply.  That is welcome news for … Continue Reading
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