In the wake of a bid to limit their scope, the courts has issued a resolution to nationwide wage disputes
Workers from different states can file nationwide class-action lawsuits under federal wage law, according to a divided appeals court.
The first U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a statement on Thursday that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act was intended to facilitate large-scale collective actions against companies operating in multiple states, and limiting those who can participate would undermine that purpose.
A 2017 Supreme Court verdict claimed that people who lived outside California would not participate in a product liability lawsuit filed in a state court against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
On Thursday, the 1st Circuit unanimously declared that the decision primarily sounded in state courts rather than federal court proceedings.
Day & Zimmermann, a defense contractor, was seeking to dismiss most of the more than 100 employees that opted into a pay overtime lawsuit filed against the company in Massachusetts.
The United States Chamber of Commerce backed the company in an end year, which claimed that a settlement for the plaintiffs would make employment disputes more expensive and required companies to take those costs on to customers.
The ruling ties to those decisions made by the 6th and 8th Circuits in a row last August. The 7th Circuit in a 2020 case stated that only the named plaintiff had to establish jurisdiction.
Judge David Barron of the Supreme Court in his opinion predicted that the decision would impact on pending FLSA cases and other applicable legislation, but there was no reason for the Supreme Court to decide the issue.
Day & Zimmermann did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the plaintiffs' attorneys at Josephson Dunlap.
Waters v. Day & Zimmermann NPS Inc, 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-1997.
Richard Schreiber of Josephson Dunlap is the plaintiff's attorney.
David Salmons, Director of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, for Day & Zimmermann