Authored by Alex Passantino
It’s the week before Christmas, so you know it’s the time
For our review of the year—our wage-hour rhyme.
Our look-back on issues from the past 52 weeks
That grabbed the attention of you wage-hour geeks.
Leading us off is no big surprise:
FLSA filings continue to rise.
A 10% bump; they’re not going away,
‘Cause they’re filed at a rate of like 30 a day.
Next up on our list is that place at One First,
Where nine Justices use words like “affirmed” and “reversed.”
A flurry of cases from the Court so Supreme,
For the most part? A wage-hour defense lawyer’s dream.
Individualized damages may take Rule 23 off the table
As we learned in the context of allocation of cable.
When damages cannot be measured en masse,
Then SCOTUS has ruled that there shall be no class.
For state law wage cases, was Comcast the end?
Would class cert responses simply say “How will you calculate, friend?”
Then five short days later, the Court kicked back Ross.
‘Twas a heck of a hint that these classes get tossed.
Another huge trend that’s been sweeping the nation:
Supreme Court decisions on class arbitration.
With an agreement, class claims you can prevent.
But you’d better be sure that it says what you meant.
For if your clause can be wiggled by the rules of contract,
Then with class arbitration, you might find yourself smacked.
But a well-drafted waiver will protect you from the many,
Even if each individual claim is worth but a penny.
And collective wage claims can be waived, if done clearly,
At least we’ve heard that in both Sutherland and Raniere.
And the NLRB’s efforts at class waiver thwartin’?
Got kicked to the curb by the Fifth in D.R. Horton.
Our last big decision from SCOTUS this year
Makes the difference ‘tween class and collective more clear.
An FLSA case can be given the boot,
If an offer of judgment makes a named plaintiff moot.
The Court did not say if it must be accepted.
Or if failure to take it leaves the case unaffected.
At least one court says offers kill claims class-wide.
Death by Rule 68—call it Genesis-cide.
Now, we’d be remiss if Sandifer was neglected,
Where the Supremes will decide which clothes are protected
From inclusion within the scope of “hours of work”
Be they fireproof gloves or what you wear when you twerk.
In the next year, the new government guys have big plans,
Investigating employers across the whole land.
Just be cautious if an investigator should mention:
“If you like it, then of course you can keep your exemption.”
THANKS TO ALL OF OUR READERS. BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!