Wage & Hour Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Defenses

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No Bones About It: Courts Within Second Circuit Continue to Dismiss “Bare Bones” FLSA Complaints

Posted in Defenses, Overtime

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

Last summer, the Second Circuit issued a flurry of decisions clarifying the pleading standard in FLSA cases.  In one of those cases, Dejesus v. HF Management Services, LLC, the court held that, in order to state a valid overtime claim after the Supreme Court’s decisions in Iqbal and Twombly, “a … Continue Reading

Starbucks Ruling Makes the Most of the De Minimis Doctrine

Posted in Defenses, Off-the-Clock Issues

Co-authored by Rishi Puri, Noah Finkel, and Andrew Paley

At this point, California employers are all too familiar with litigation seeking compensation for preliminary and postliminary activities.  The de minimis doctrine is a main line of defense in actions for these claims.  Recognized in the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision of Anderson v. Mt Clemens Pottery Co., the … Continue Reading

Company Cries “Fowl” Over Jury Verdict, Fourth Circuit Agrees — Poultry Workers’ State Law Wage Claims Are Preempted by Federal Law

Posted in Defenses, Off-the-Clock Issues, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by Arthur Rooney and Abad Lopez

In a victory for limiting the avenues available to employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that federal law preempts state law claims for unpaid wages where a CBA is implicated.  As a result, the Fourth Circuit reversed a jury verdict in favor of unionized employees in … Continue Reading

Trifles and Tribulations: Supreme Court Decides Meaning of “Changing Clothes” Under § 203(o) of the FLSA

Posted in Defenses, DOL Enforcement, Off-the-Clock Issues

Authored by Jessica Schauer Lieberman

The Supreme Court ruled today that steelworkers are not entitled to pay for time spent changing into flame-retardant suits, hardhats, gloves, and other protective items where their union agreed to exclude that time from the compensable workday.  In doing so, the Court took a refreshingly pragmatic approach to an area that previously has been interpreted … Continue Reading

Great Expectations: Salesman’s Incompetent Performance Does Not Defeat Exempt Status

Posted in Defenses, Misclassification/Exemptions

Authored by Barry Miller

How do you classify the outside salesperson who fails to sell?  The administrative employee who can’t or won’t exercise discretion and independent judgment?  The manager who would rather perform manual labor than manage others?  Plaintiffs often stress – and Department of Labor regulations state – that a job description alone doesn’t dictate exempt status; rather, it’s … Continue Reading

No “Fluctuation” as New York Federal Courts Continue to Allow Half-Time Damages

Posted in Defenses, Misclassification/Exemptions, State Laws/Claims

Co-authored by Robert S. Whitman, Howard M. Wexler and Joshua D. Seidman

Continuing the recent string of good news for employers on the fluctuating workweek (“FWW”) front, last week a federal judge in the Southern District of New York held that RadioShack’s use of the FWW or “half-time” method to calculate overtime pay for managers was permissible under New … Continue Reading

If It Looks Like Pants And It Walks Like Pants… Supreme Court Considers Definition of “Clothes” In Section 203(o) Of The FLSA

Posted in Defenses, DOL Enforcement, Off-the-Clock Issues

Authored by Jessica Schauer Lieberman

This morning the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Sandifer v. U.S. Steel, an FLSA case in a group of steelworkers at a Gary, Indiana factory claimed they should be paid for time spent changing into flame-retardant suits, steel-toed boots, hardhats and gloves, even though their union agreed to exclude that time from the compensable … Continue Reading

Saks Puts Up Its “Dukes”? Judge Rules Class Members Too Dissimilar In Denying Class Certification

Posted in Defenses, Misclassification/Exemptions

Co-authored by Laura Maechtlen and Nadia S. Bandukda

Last week, in Till v. Saks Inc., U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong of the Northern District of California denied Plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class of present and former exempt managers and associates at Saks’ Off 5th retail stores, and granted Saks’ preemptive bid to deny approval of a nationwide … Continue Reading

We Meant What We Said: DC Circuit Won’t Revisit Loan Officer Classification

Posted in Defenses, Misclassification/Exemptions

Co-authored by Kyle Petersen and  Natascha Riesco

As you may recall, the DOL threw the mortgage industry into a tizzy when it issued a sweeping Administrator Interpretation in 2010 that reversed its prior opinion letters and announced its view that mortgage loan officers were not exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA (at least under the … Continue Reading

Now Showing On A DVD Player Near You: The Lenient-Standard Monster

Posted in Conditional Certification, Defenses

Authored by Noah Finkel and Dennis Clifford

We often question the utility of the “lenient standard” for conditional certification under the FLSA.  All too often, courts grant conditional certification of a collective action based on nothing more than a recitation of the “lenient standard” involving a “modest factual showing,” followed by reference to scant evidence that provides no insight into … Continue Reading