Northern District of Illinois Rules that State Law Overtime Claims Not Precluded by Prior Dismissal of FLSA Class-Action

When dealing with class-action wage and hour disputes, defendants will try to get the court to dismiss claims by any means that they can, and there are a variety of legal defenses that allow them to do so. At Lubin Austermuehle, our overtime lawyers are familiar with all of the tricks of the trade, so to speak, so they were interested to discover a case that illuminates just one of these many tools that is utilized by defendants to escape liability.

In Anyere v. Wells Fargo Co. Inc, Plaintiffs were current and former employees of Defendant and worked as credit managers who provided customers primarily with loan consolidation services. Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit alleging overtime violations under Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) because they were required to work during lunch, on weekends, and late into the night on a regular basis. Plaintiffs also alleged that Defendant “verbally disciplined employees for logging more than forty hours per week” and would adjust employees’ time records to stay under the overtime threshold. In response to these allegations, Defendant moved to dismiss the action on the basis of collateral estoppel due to a previous lawsuit filed against Defendant in California for the same overtime violations.

The Court dismissed the FLSA claims for nationwide relief based upon issue preclusion — the California-filed class-action was dismissed because the members of the proposed class were not similarly situated. However, the Court maintained the statewide action because the prior case did not contemplate an Illinois-only class-action and therefore could not have been litigated previously.

Lubin Austermuehle has a team of wage claim attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and who have been handling overtime cases for years. Our Chicago overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. When employees do not receive their earned overtime wages, filing a lawsuit can help to recover those unpaid amounts. Lubin Austermuehle is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Naperville wage and hour attorneys by phone at 1 630-333-0333, or through our online form.

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