Today, the Center filed a friend of the Court brief in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk. This important case will decide whether a defendant in a class action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—called a “collective action” under that statute—can end the case by offering the lead plaintiff a settlement for her own claims before any other plaintiffs have had a meaningful opportunity to join the lawsuit. The case involves a suit brought under the FLSA on behalf of nursing home workers, who are predominantly women earning near poverty-level wages.
The Center strongly believes that collective suits lie at the core of enforcement of the FLSA and the EPA and that Congress did not intend for defendants to be able to easily game their way out of these cases by picking off a lead plaintiff. The Supreme Court should hold that defendants cannot end a collective action by offering to settle with one plaintiff before others have had an opportunity to join the case.
The Court will hear argument on December 3, 2012.