Jeffrey Ruzal Quoted in “5 Biggest Wage-Hour Cases to Watch for the Rest of 2021”

Jeffrey H. Ruzal, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “5 Biggest Wage-Hour Cases to Watch for the Rest of 2021,” by Mike LaSusa. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Federal courts will be grappling with thorny wage and hour law questions in the second half of 2021, including a trucking industry challenge to a California worker classification law and claims that immigrants held in private detention facilities must be paid minimum wage for work they do in those facilities.

Here, Law360 looks at those cases and other important wage and hour litigation to watch for the rest of the year.

Trucking Groups Want Justices To Nix Calif. Classification Law

Trucking groups are heading to the U.S. Supreme Court with their challenge to California Assembly Bill 5, which heightened the state's standard for legally classifying workers as independent contractors. …

It's not clear whether the high court might take the case, or how it might decide it, but the outcome could have significant impacts on the worker classification status of truckers, said Jeff Ruzal, a partner at employer-side firm Epstein Becker Green.

"It seems as if the injunction will remain in place for now, but it will be quite interesting to see what the Supreme Court does with this," he said.

The case is CTA et al. v. Bonta et al., case numbers 20-55106 and 20-55107, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. …

2nd Circ. Adds To Split Over FLSA Willfulness Standard

After a split Second Circuit panel ruling in May, wage and hour attorneys are watching to see if the Supreme Court might be the next stop for the question of the legal standard workers have to meet in order to claim their employer willfully violated the FLSA. …

The circuit split coupled with a "strong dissent" by one of the Second Circuit judges make the issue of the willfulness time-bar a likely contender for a look by the high court, Epstein Becker's Ruzal said.

"It's clearly unsettled, and even within the Second Circuit, it appears to be quite contentious," he said.

The case is Mark Whiteside v. Hover Davis Inc., case number 20-798, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Walmart Workers Want 9th Circ. To Undo Nix Of $102M Pay Stub Penalty

Walmart workers who won a $102 million class action judgment against the retail giant for alleged pay stub and meal break violations want the full Ninth Circuit to rethink a May panel decision to nix the nine-figure award. …

Epstein Becker's Ruzal said employers are also watching the case closely due to the importance of the standing issue.

"A standing defense can be critical when dealing with these types of claims," he said. "It's certainly worth keeping an eye on."

The case is Roderick Magadia v. Wal-Mart Associates Inc. et al., case number 19-16184, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.