Dick's Sporting Goods prevails on preemptive motion to deny class certification in nationwide off-the-clock case
Clients Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.
Jones Day successfully defended Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. in this nationwide case seeking class action status under the laws of more than 30 states and under the FLSA. The Court granted Jones Day's preemptive Rule 23 motion to deny certification of Plaintiffs' putative nationwide class seeking allegedly unpaid wages under a variety of state laws. Plaintiffs had sought to assert statutory and common law off-the-clock claims on behalf of a putative class of more than 125,000 employees of Dick's Sporting Goods and Galyan's Trading Company, a competitor acquired by Dick's in 2004. The Court held that Plaintiffs could not satisfy Rule 23(a)'s commonality requirement that there be questions of law or fact common to the class, finding that "working off-the-clock does not always automatically create liability on the part of the employer" and that the standards that govern liability vary from state to state. The Court agreed with Jones Day that it "would face a daunting task if it tried to fashion a jury instruction that took into account the variances in the state laws under which Plaintiffs make their common law and state statutory claims." And the Court agreed with Jones Day that "Plaintiffs' proposal to meld the FLSA into a universally-applicable state common law standard would be an abuse of its discretion and a violation of the Erie doctrine."
In addition, the Court granted Jones Day's Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' ERISA and RICO claims and to dismiss Plaintiffs' common law claims for allegedly unpaid overtime.
Tamara Barrus v. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. Case No. 05-CV-6253-CJS-JWF (W.D.N.Y. Aug. 4, 2010)