For a time, it seemed as if employers were losing every class-action lawsuit filed by hungry lawyers on behalf of one or two named employees. It almost became a legal cottage industry.
But now courts are losing patience with some of these lawsuits—especially when the attorneys get sloppy.
Recent case: Jose worked at a Tyson Food processing plant and found a lawyer to file a collective action against the company for allegedly underpaying workers for time spent donning and doffing clothes. The company paid for four minutes of activity; Jose claimed it took almost six minutes. The trial court certified the class and awarded almost $5 million in damages.
The company appealed, claiming that Jose’s lawyers never filed an affidavit required for collective actions. The 8th Circuit threw out the case. (Gomez, et al., v. Tyson Foods, No. 13-3500. 8th Cir., 2015)