Articles Discussing Case:
Franczek Radelet P.C • April 25, 2013
Some good news for employers. In a recent 5-4 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that collective-action claims brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are moot when the named plaintiff has no continuing personal interest in the outcome of the lawsuit and no motion for conditional certification has been filed. Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, Case No. 11-1059.
FordHarrison LLP • April 19, 2013
Executive Summary: On April 16, 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision that makes it easier for employers to limit the scope of wage and hour "collective actions." In Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk (Apr. 16, 2013), the Court held that an employer can obtain dismissal of an FLSA collective action by mooting the named plaintiff's claims before the trial court rules on a motion for conditional certification.
Phelps Dunbar LLP • April 18, 2013
On April 16, 2013, in Genesis Healthcare Corp., et al., v. Symczyk, the United States Supreme Court held that, where the lone plaintiff’s individual claim in an FLSA collective action becomes moot, the entire collective action must be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
The respondent in Symczyk, a registered nurse, brought a collective action against her former employer on behalf of herself and other similarly-situated employees. She alleged that the petitioners violated the FLSA by automatically deducting 30-minute meal breaks from the employees’ time worked each shift, even when the employees performed compensable work during those breaks. Upon answering the complaint, and prior to any other plaintiffs opting in to the lawsuit, the petitioners served upon the respondent an offer of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68. The offer included $7,500 for alleged unpaid wages, in addition to attorneys’ fees and costs, and purportedly constituted full relief for the respondent’s individual claim for damages. The respondent was given ten days to consider the offer, after which time the offer would be deemed withdrawn.
Ogletree Deakins • April 17, 2013
On April 16, 2013, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for a 5-4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a collective action brought by a worker under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was properly dismissed because the worker’s suit was moot and no longer justiciable when she failed to accept an offer of judgment from her employer. According to the Court, "the worker had no personal interest in representing putative, unnamed claimants, nor any other continuing interest that would preserve her suit from mootness." Thus, the Court ruled that "the mere presence of collective-action allegations in the complaint cannot save the suit from mootness once the individual claim is satisfied." Genesis Healthcare Corp. et al. v. Symczyk, No. 11–1059, U.S. Supreme Court (April 16, 2013).
Fisher Phillips • April 17, 2013
On April 16, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the concept that a wage and hour collective action brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), can be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction when the named plaintiff’s claim is rendered moot – in this case by virtue of the plaintiff being offered complete relief through an offer of judgment made pursuant to Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Genesis HealthCare Corp. v. Symczyk.
Ogletree Deakins • April 17, 2013
I had hoped, although without any real basis, that when the Supreme Court dealt with a collective action case this term, by deciding whether or not an offer that would completely resolve an individual plaintiff's claim prevented a collective action from going forward, that they might somehow wander into what seems to be an issue never subject to review, what is the standard for conditional certification of a collective action under 29 U.S.C. 216(b).