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In a win secured by members of Fisher Phillips Wage and Hour Law Practice Group, a Colorado federal court just held that employers may “reasonably approximate” vehicle-related expenses for reimbursement purposes under federal wage law. The August 26 decision deals a significant blow to the viability of minimum wage claims brought under the FLSA’s “free and clear/anti-kickback” regulations that seek to tie reimbursement of delivery driver vehicle expenses to the IRS standard business mileage rate. Less than a week after the victory in Kennedy v. Mountainside Pizza, Inc., the Department of Labor landed another haymaker by releasing an opinion letter that affirms the court’s reasoning. 

Federal courts across the country have been split on the issue of whether a court can exercise personal jurisdiction over out-of-state plaintiffs who want to opt-in into a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action. The Eastern District of Pennsylvania just issued a ruling siding with those courts that have minimized the number of members in a collective action, ruling that it lacked specific jurisdiction over FLSA claims of out-of-state opt-in plaintiffs who were not harmed in Pennsylvania. The August 12 decision in Weirbach v. The Cellecular Connection, LLC, is an important one, as it provides added support to employers looking to break up a putative collective and reduce their potential legal exposure.

In a much-anticipated decision, a federal appeals court just ruled that Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims resolved through Rule 68(a) offers of judgment do not require fairness review and judicial approval. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals’ December 6, 2019 decision is a critical ruling for employers seeking to resolve lawsuits filed under federal wage and hour law, providing a much clearer path for resolution (Yu v. Hasaki Restaurant, Inc). 

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