How to File a Formal Wage or Hour Lawsuit

If you’ve been defrauded of your wages through your company, you might be entitled to an amount of compensation as per the Fair Labor Standards Act. The laws establish the minimum wage as well as overtime compensation. Non-exempt employees can’t work on a timer without pay, which is why the law demands that they be paid 1.5 times their normal rate of compensation for overtime. If, however, you’re still not receiving the right pay, you’re able to pursue an action.

Off-the-Clock Work

In Wal-Mart v. Dukes the plaintiffs sought the an approval for a rule 23(b)(2) group of Wal-Mart’s female employees currently employed. They also sought declaratory and injunctive remedy against Wal-Mart in the Region 43. Wal-Mart claims that Andrews prohibits class action claims. Dukes isn’t the sole deciding factor as plaintiffs filed their lawsuits promptly. The issue is whether Dukes does not prohibit class action claims according to the doctrine of APA.

The Supreme Court recently decided to dismiss a class-action suit brought filed by Wal-Mart employees who are female. The plaintiffs sought injunctive reliefas well as declaration relief, punitive damage and backpay. They claimed gender discrimination in promotions and pay. The suit claimed that Wal-Mart had discriminated against female employees throughout the nation by forcing managers to make their own decisions about promotion and salary. They claimed these policies resulted in lower wages and more time to promotions for female employees.

It was the Supreme Court ruled that the Dukes case did not constitute a class action, despite the fact that most of the judges dismissed the case as an action for class. The court, however, did not remand this case as the plaintiffs could not show that they were in agreement with the decisions of the defendants. The court also pointed out it was noted that Dukes wasn’t a case of class and was instead a single lawsuit filed by a single plaintiff, which means it wasn’t a class action.

In Dukes v. Dukes, plaintiffs sought group certification within the Northern District of California. In Dukes, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the nationwide class certification, however, the Supreme Court reversed this decision. The decision in Dukes does not impact the settlement for class action in other Wal-Mart cases. In the end, the ruling will impact how the business operates. Although the decision of the court will impact the matter but it is likely to affect other lawsuits brought by women against Wal-Mart.

In the event that Ninth Circuit affirmed the Sixth Circuit’s decision, plaintiffs can request a second appeals to the Sixth Circuit’s decision. They could also decide to file an application for certification of class. In this case the district court could decide on the issue based on the rules of stare decisis or co-operation. While there are cases that support tolling the limitation period but the plaintiff’s argument might not have been properly depicted in the earlier case.

This decision highlights the necessity of having a clear process for class certification. While Wal-Mart didn’t certifiably certify an ex-walmart employees however, the Ninth Circuit sitting en banc made a decision to keep the right of these employees to seek monetary relief under Rule 23(b)(3). The Ninth Circuit’s decision makes clear that districts courts are able to be able to certify additional classes in the event of a need.

The decision of the Court in Wal-Mart will allow reopening the issue of the conditions in Title VII’s location. Wal-Mart asserts that class members must fulfill the requirements of Title VII, in contrast to the previous line of cases which held that the absence of class members weren’t relevant. The Court pointed out it was the supreme court’s ruling in Dukes stops re-examining this question in the future.

In the contest, Tyson Foods pointed out that it was not in a position to determine what exactly was the amount of time or benefits for its employees and said that this was not an acceptable assumption. The company, however, stated that it was not able to be held responsible for the amount of time it takes to dress and dress each employee. In any event the decision leaves the unanswered question of whether Tyson count on statistical proof to support its assertions?

The case is based on the amount of time Tyson employees are required to wear and removing their protective gear while working. The plaintiffs claimed that this was an integral aspect of their work and that they deserved to be compensated. Tyson did not want to pay the plaintiffs ‘ compensation for this period. The court ultimately declared the class action a collective action in accordance with the FLSA and Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The plaintiffs claimed Tyson did not pay overtime for wearing and doffing of the protective equipment. This ruling has implications for the future of the company in the near future.

Tyson Foods’ appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court aimed to overturn its $5.8 million overtime settlement in the class action wage and hour lawsuit, arguing that the plaintiffs weren’t permitted to use statistical evidence to prove damages and the trial court used flawed methods to calculate damages. The use of statistical evidence in calculating damages could have weakened the protection of rights of workers throughout the U.S.

If Tyson’s appeal is allowed to stand is contingent on whether the plaintiffs’ arguments stand up to scrutiny. At present there is a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has upheld the lower court’s ruling, however appeals before the Supreme Court could be resolved in any manner. When the appeals are settled, Tyson must address the procedure used to award the award.

In the last two years over U.S. Supreme Court has taken the decision to take on cases involving Tyson Foods and its workers. Tyson Foods filed amicus briefs in both cases. On one hand it was in favor of Wal-Mart Stores, a host of business organizations, a handful of conservative legal advocacy groups and the law professors. The workers supported Tyson Foods’ case.

Although Tyson Foods Tyson Foods case did set the right standard for evaluating the admissibility of evidence from statistical sources however, it was the U.S. Supreme Court failed to offer guidance for trial judges on how to handle the evidence of statistics. Its Tyson Foods decision exemplifies how the lower courts have diverged from the proper procedures in wage and hour cases. Tyson Foods should appeal the decision.

The Tyson decision may spark debates about the appropriate use of statistical evidence in wage and hour litigation. The decision could limit the decision to cases in which the plaintiff’s group is making use of Mt. Clemens statistical evidence. The plaintiff’s class action bar might attempt to interpret the decision as a change in Wal-Mart’s ban on wage and hour-based class action.

Recommended Posts