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Supreme Court Decides Important FLSA Mootness Issue

On April 16, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that an FLSA collective action must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction if, prior to a motion for conditional certification, the claims of the named plaintiff become moot.  Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 3157 (Apr. 16, 2013).  The named plaintiff had rejected the employer’s offer of full relief under Rule 68, but conceded in the trial court that her individual claim was moot and did not preserve that issue for appeal.  The Court held that with the named plaintiff’s claim moot and with no one having opted in, there was no live case or controversy before the trial court.  Accordingly, the trial court lacked jurisdiction and the entire case had to be dismissed.

The Court did not resolve important related issues, including:  (1) whether a proffer of full relief, even though rejected, moots a claim; (2) whether, to constitute full relief, the offer must include an offer to have judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff; or (3) the point at which putative opt-in plaintiffs have sufficient standing to keep a case alive (more specifically, (a) is the filing of a notice of consent to join enough, (b) is the filing of a motion for conditional certification enough, or (c) must there be a court order granting conditional certification plus the filing of one or more notices of consent to join).

Submitted by:

Shane T. Munoz, Esq.
FORDHARRISON LLP
Board Certified Labor & Employment Lawyer
101 E. Kennedy Blvd,
Suite 900 | Tampa, FL 33602
Direct: 813-261-7803 | smunoz@fordharrison.com
 

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