In December of 2012 the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard a case that involved the FLSA and the nonpayment of wages to a former employee. (See Frye v. Baptist Memorial Hospital, 2012 WL 6028887 (6th Cir. 2012)). In this Kentucky overtime unpaid wages case, the issue at hand had to do with the motion to tax costs and awarding of cots to the employer. In November of 2007 the plaintiff and others similarly situated filed a collective action under the FLSA against their former employer. They alleged that their former employer failed to pay them for all hours worked by failing to pay them overtime compensation. Id. So they hired a Kentucky overtime lawyer.
This Kentucky overtime unpaid wages case took many years to finish. In 2008 one of the plaintiffs was dismissed from the case. Then in 2008 the trial court granted in party the other plaintiff’s motion for conditional class certification. In September of 2010, the court then granted the former employer’s motion to decertify the collective action and dismissed the Kentucky overtime unpaid wages case without prejudice as to all the other plaintiffs except the one named remaining one. Id.
Then, the Kentucky overtime lawyer then was told by the court to file a written consent to join the collective action with the FLSA’s statute of limitations. Id. This was not done for whatever reason. So, the court granted the defendant’s summary judgment motion and dismissed the case. This appellate court after reviewing all of the evidence upheld both orders.
After the entry of judgment, the defendants then wanted the court to tax costs against the remaining plaintiff to the tune of about $55,000. The clerk of court did so. The Kentucky remaining plaintiff in this unpaid wages case then asked the trial court to review. The trial court did and upheld the award. So then he appealed.
The plaintiff in this Kentucky overtime unpaid wages case argued that the FLSA does not provide for an award of cots to a prevailing defendants and such an award would have a chilling effect on future claims under the FLSA and that the defendant was not the prevailing party and that the costs should not have gone just against him alone.
This appellate court held that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure stats that “unless a federal statue , these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs – other than attorney’s fees, should be allowed to the prevailing party.” (cites omitted). The FLSA provides that “in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff or plaintiffs,” the court shall “allow a reasonable attorney’s fees to be paid by the defendant, and costs of the action.” (cites omitted). Because section 216(b) addresses only an award of costs to a prevailing plaintiff and neither section 216(b), nor any other provision of the FLSA precludes an award of costs to a prevailing defendant, the district court properly found that a prevailing defendant can recover costs under the FLSA.” (cites omitted). Also, the court held that since the remaining plaintiff was left and the defendant got a summary judgment against his claims, that it was the prevailing party for purposes of the entire action. (cites omitted).
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky overtime unpaid wages case, please call and speak to a Kentucky overtime lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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