The new episode of Employment Law This Week features the U.S. Supreme Court's easing of class certification standards in a case against Tyson Foods.
In Iowa, a group of Tyson employees brought a hybrid class and collective action for unpaid overtime spent changing clothes and walking to their work area. An expert determined the average amount of time spent on those activities, and the employees relied on those averages to get class certified and prove liability and damages. On appeal, Tyson argued that the employees should never have been grouped into a single class, because each ...
On March 22, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, a donning and doffing case in which a class of employees had been awarded $2.9 million following a 2011 jury trial that relied on statistical evidence. (A subsequent liquidated damages award brought the total to $5.8 million.)
In a 6-2 opinion, the Supreme Court affirmed that award. While the Supreme Court’s decision may not have been the outcome many were expecting, the Court did not issue a broad ruling regarding the use of statistical evidence in class ...
In order to prevent employee theft, some employers require their employees to undergo security screenings before leaving the employers’ facilities. That is particularly so with employers involved in manufacturing and retail sales, who must be concerned with valuable merchandise being removed in bags, purses or jacket pockets.
Often in the context of high-stakes class actions and collective actions, parties have litigated whether time spent undergoing a security screening must be compensated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). On December 9, 2014, a unanimous ...
by Michael Kun
In 2005, Congress passed the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) to ensure that large, interstate class actions could be heard in federal courts. Under CAFA, federal courts have been given original jurisdiction over those class actions in which at least one party is diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million once all of the putative class members’ claims have been aggregated.
Likely before CAFA had even gone into effect, some plaintiffs’ lawyers devised a strategy to try to escape federal jurisdiction under CAFA – stipulating that they would ...
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