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Transportation Brief: FLSA Conditional Certification Denied In Driver Case

by Christopher J. Eckhart, James A. Eckhart

January 27, 2020

Minimum wage compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act is determined on a weekly basis: if the total weekly wages divided by the total hours worked exceed $7.25 per hour, the FLSA is satisfied. Further, the FLSA allows a plaintiff to bring a collective action on behalf of similarly situated employees. Before an FLSA case can proceed as a collective action, the court must conditionally certify the case. Courts generally grant conditional certification because the standard is quite lenient. In Shell v. Pie Kingz, LLC, the court denied the plaintiff’s motion for conditional certification. Because the plaintiff’s and other drivers’ wages and expenses varied every week, minimum wage liability could not be determined on a collective basis and instead required a week-by-week, driver-by-driver analysis, precluding collective treatment. Shell represents a rare win for the defendant at the conditional certification stage and should help transportation companies defend against proposed FLSA collective actions by drivers whose compensation, hours worked, and business expenses vary from week to week.


Scopelitis’ Transportation Brief® is intended as a report to our clients and friends on developments affecting the transportation industry. The published material does not constitute an exhaustive legal study and should not be regarded or relied upon as individual legal advice or opinion.


 

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