Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP Wins Victory For Employees In Third Circuit

AUGUST 31, 2011

Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP Wins Victory For Employees In Third Circuit
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, along with its co-counsel, recently won a groundbreaking decision for employees seeking to prosecute wage and hour claims on a collective basis in Symczyk v. Genesis Healthcare Corp. et al., No. 10-3178 (3d Cir. 2011).  In Symczyk, the Third Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling that an offer of judgment mooted a named plaintiff’s claim in an action asserting wage and hour violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”). Writing for the Circuit Court, U.S. Circuit Judge Anthony Scirica held, “[d]epriving the parties and the court of a reasonable opportunity to deliberate on the merits of collective action ‘conditional certification’ frustrates the objectives served by [the FLSA].”  The Circuit Court then established that “when an FLSA plaintiff moves for “certification” of a collective action, the appropriate course ... is for the district court to relate the motion back to the filing of the initial complaint.”  In so holding, the Third Circuit held that an FLSA plaintiff enjoys the same procedural protections as a traditional Rule 23 class action plaintiff.  Notably, the Third Circuit also affirmed the two-step process used for granting certification in FLSA cases.  Consequently, this watershed decision will likely be widely cited in subsequent wage and hour decisions.

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