From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
June 3 — Arizona tire store employees who didn't accept their employer's checks for alleged unpaid overtime wages can proceed with their collective action against the company, a federal judge ruled ( O'Neal v. America's Best Tire LLC , 2016 BL 176293, D. Ariz., No. 16-00056, 6/2/16 ).
The decision is one of a handful of rulings to apply the U.S. Supreme Court's January holding in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663 (2016), to Fair Labor Standards Act cases. In Gomez, the justices 6-3 concluded that an unaccepted offer to settle an individual claim doesn’t render a claimant’s proposed class action moot (13 DLR C-1, 1/21/16).
“The Gomez case is pretty brand new,” attorney Clifford P. Bendau of The Bendau Law Firm in Phoenix, told Bloomberg BNA June 3. He said yesterday's ruling “that even a unilateral tender of payment of the entire amount allegedly owed cannot halt the progression of a collective action lawsuit to recover unpaid minimum and overtime wages.”
Bendau, one of three attorneys who represented the employees, said he estimates that a little more than 100 current and former tire porters, crew members or tire technicians of America's Best Tire LLC potentially could opt-into the collective action.
An attorney representing America's Best Tire didn't respond to Bloomberg BNA's June 3 requests for comment before deadline.
America's Best Tire argued that the workers' FLSA claims should be rendered moot because it provided payment to the employees in amounts equal to its alleged liability, including unpaid overtime compensation and liquidated damages.
Rejecting that argument, Judge David G. Campbell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona found that no payment occurred because the employees never accepted, cashed or deposited those checks.
The company cited to no case law that supported its contention that a payment can occur without an acceptance, Campbell said.
Here, the workers rejected what amounted to a settlement offer or an offer of judgment under Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, the judge said.
Relying on Gomez, he concluded that the unaccepted offer didn't moot the worker's collective action, which he also conditionally certified in the same ruling.
Jason S. Barrat and Michael D. Zoldan of the Zoldan Law Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., also represented the employees. Karen L. Karr of Clark Hill in Scottsdale, Ariz., represented America's Best Tire.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jay-Anne B. Casuga in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)