Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146, a wage-and-hour dispute brought by a class of employees at a meat processing plant. Tyson appealed from the jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff class, and the Eighth Circuit affirmed the jury verdict and certification of the class and collective action.
The Supreme Court granted certiorari and now considers two issues that could significantly change the face of wage-and-hour litigation:
(1) Can a class action or collective action proceed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) or the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) when liability and damages will hinge on statistical analysis that assumes all class members are identical to the statistical average of a sample, even if there are actual differences among them?
(2) Can a class action or FLSA collective action be certified where there are class members who were not injured and have no legal right to damages?
Employers should be aware that this case has the potential to significantly affect the viability of wage-and-hour class actions or FLSA collective actions in the future. We will be watching the case and reporting back as it develops.
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The information contained on this blog is not legal advice, nor does this blog create an attorney-client relationship. Klein Bussell attorneys do not blog about pending matters handled on behalf of our clients and will never disclose client confidences.