Bailey v. TitleMax of Georgia, Inc., No. 14-11747 (11th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against TitleMax for unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 216(b). The court held that if an employer knew or had reason to know that its employee underreported his hours, it cannot escape FLSA liability by asserting equitable defenses based on that underreporting. To hold otherwise would allow an employer to wield its superior bargaining power to pressure or even compel its employees to underreport their work hours, thus neutering the FLSA's purposeful reallocation of that power. In this case, plaintiff has worked overtime without pay and TitleMax knew or should have known he worked overtime where plaintiff's supervisor both encouraged artificially low reporting and squelched truthful timekeeping. The district court erred in applying equitable defenses based on plaintiff's misconduct to totally and entirely bar his FLSA claim. When the district court did this, it went beyond what the Supreme Court approved in McKennon v. Nashville Banner Publishing Co., thereby interfering with the FLSA's statutory scheme. Accordingly, the court reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of TitleMax and remanded.