Wage & Hour Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Conditional Certification

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A Fresh Take on the Horizontal Joint Employment Theory: Conditional Certification for Subway Employees Denied

Posted in Conditional Certification, DOL Enforcement, Joint Employment

Authored by Christopher Kelleher and Noah Finkel

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal court denies motion for conditional certification for a proposed class of employees working at separate Subway franchises.

Earlier this year, the DOL’s Wage-Hour Division issued a much-publicized Administrator Interpretation on what employers constitute joint employers, including an explanation of how two or more employers under common ownership can constitute “horizontal” … Continue Reading

Advising On Their Own: Financial Advisors’ Class Claims Defeated

Posted in Conditional Certification, Misclassification/Exemptions, Overtime, Rule 23 Certification, State Laws/Claims

Authored by Hillary J. Massey

Employers have a new tool for opposing conditional and class certification of overtime claims by financial advisors and other exempt employees—last week, a judge in the District of New Jersey denied conditional and class certification of such claims because the plaintiffs failed to show that common issues predominated. The court, pointing to other decisions denying … Continue Reading

Doing the “Two Step”: Court Denies Second Stage Certification of FLSA Claims

Posted in Conditional Certification, Decertification, Rule 23 Certification

Co-authored by Robert S. Whitman and Howard M. Wexler

Plaintiffs’ counsel frequently speak of the “low” burden necessary at first stage for conditional certification under the FLSA.  However, a recent decision from the Eastern District of New York highlights that plaintiffs may win the battle over conditional certification but still lose the war for final certification at second stage.

In … Continue Reading

Lifting the Weight: Conditional Certification Denied for Personal Trainers Claiming Off-the-Clock Work

Posted in Conditional Certification

Co-authored by Molly C. Mooney and Noah Finkel

Last week, a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois lifted the weight of collective action certification off Life Time Fitness, Inc. and refused to certify a proposed collective of more than 6,000 personal trainers because each trainer’s employment varied too much to resolve their potential claims on a collective basis.… Continue Reading

I’m Dreaming of a White Collar: 2015 Year in Review

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, City/Local Ordinances, Conditional Certification, Damages, Decertification, Defenses, Discovery, DOL Enforcement, Executive Orders, Hybrid Lawsuits, Independent Contractors, Joint Employment, Jurisdiction, Meal/Rest Breaks, Misclassification/Exemptions, Off-the-Clock Issues, Offer of Judgment, Overtime, Regular Rate, Rule 23 Certification, Salary Basis, Service Charges/Gratuities, Settlement, State Laws/Claims, Uncategorized

Authored by Alex Passantino

‘Twas the week before Christmas, 2-0-1-5 When the poetry elves on the blog came alive. Crafting their rhymes with a purpose so clear: Presenting the wage-hour gems of the year.

In January, for new regs in this year our breath bated. Then for six painful months, we speculated and waited. And just as … Continue Reading

So What About Those “BlackBerry Claims” We’ve Been Worried About?

Posted in Conditional Certification, Off-the-Clock Issues, Overtime

Co-authored by Laura E. Reasons and Noah A. Finkel

BlackBerry devices may be a thing of the past; but smartphones–and their ability to allow employees to be constantly connected–certainly aren’t going away any time soon.

On Thursday, a judge in the Northern District of Illinois held in Allen v. City of Chicago that the Chicago Police Department (CPD) did not … Continue Reading

No Fees For You: Second Circuit Holds Expert Fees Are Not Recoverable Under FLSA

Posted in Conditional Certification, Rule 23 Certification

Co-authored by Robert S. Whitman and Howard M. Wexler

Expert witness fees are not recoverable under the FLSA. So held the Second Circuit in a decision that highlights a strategy we have previously discussed for employers to fend off class/collective actions.

In Gortat v. Capala Brothers, Inc., the plaintiffs alleged that they were denied wages, including overtime compensation, throughout … Continue Reading

Genesis Healthcare May Be Merely the First Book in Bible on Mooting Class/Collective Actions

Posted in Conditional Certification, Rule 23 Certification

Authored by Steve Shardonofsky

In the beginning, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Genesis Healthcare that an FLSA case is moot when the plaintiff accepts an offer of full relief. As we noted in our previous blog, the decision left open, however, the question of what happens when the plaintiff affirmatively declines the offer or when the offer expires, … Continue Reading

Out of the Pizza Oven, Into the Fire: Any Way You Slice It, Lenient Standard at Conditional Certification Stage Doesn’t Cut It

Posted in Conditional Certification, Decertification

Co-authored by Abad Lopez and Noah Finkel

The two-step “send notice now/worry later” approach to FLSA collective actions — in which courts approve notice to potential collective action members under the lenient standard but comfort defendant-employers with the bromide of “don’t worry, we can revisit the issue at the decertification stage under a more rigorous standard” — continues to leave … Continue Reading

Taking a Pass on a “Reclass” Class (or Collective): Court Denies Reclassified Employees’ Certification Motion

Posted in Conditional Certification

Authored by Jessica Lieberman

The decision whether to reclassify employees whose exempt status is arguable can sometimes create something of a double bind for employers: reclassification should be the conservative approach, but it also can be risky if it is interpreted as evidence that the prior classification was wrong.  For this reason, employers may fear that reclassification aimed at reducing … Continue Reading