A federal judge in Arkansas granted summary judgment for ConAgra Foods in a collective action brought by a group of departmental Team Leaders who alleged ConAgra misclassified them as exempt and denied them overtime pay in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In Garrison v. ConAgra Foods, the court determined that the Team Leaders’ job duties satisfied the four-part test for the FLSA’s “executive exemption,” including the requirement that the employer gave their recommendations regarding the advancement and demotion of subordinate employees “particular weight.”
Written by Jillian Collins
McDonald’s, the fast food giant known for supersizing its orders, avoided conditional certification of an FLSA collective action this week based on the “very large” size of the putative class. The Eastern District of Michigan denied plaintiffs’ motion for conditional collective action certification in two related cases based on allegations that McDonald’s and several franchisees failed to pay workers minimum wage.
Written by Brandon Willenberg
Employers have recently enjoyed some victories in the U.S. Supreme Court and in the California Supreme Court regarding the use of class/collective action waivers in employment arbitration agreements (e.g. Italian Colors and Iskanian). Class/collective action waivers in arbitration agreements generally prohibit the employee from forming or joining a class or collective action litigation or arbitration addressing employment-related claims against an employer, including, for example, violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This is an effective tool for employers to limit exposure and liability in wage/hour class and collective action litigation. So, if an employer can utilize a class/collective action waiver in an employment arbitration agreement then it makes sense that the employer can include one in a severance agreement just the same, right? Wrong said the Sixth Circuit, in Killion v. KeHE Distributors, Inc.
Written by Michael Arnold
For the first time the Second Circuit Court of Appeals tackled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s public agency volunteer exception. In Brown v. New York City Board of Education, the Court outlined the contours of the exception and affirmed a lower court decision finding that the individual at issue was a volunteer and not an employee entitled to minimum and overtime wages. This opinion however, does not alleviate the concerns of private sector employers susceptible to wage and hour class/collective action lawsuits by volunteers.