Symczyk v. Genesis Healthcare Corp., No. 10-3178 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
A registered nurse initiated a collective action on behalf of herself and all similarly situated individuals, alleging defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 207 and 216(b), when they implemented a policy subjecting the pay of certain employees to an automatic meal break deduction whether or not they performed compensable work during breaks. Defendants made an offer of judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 in the amount of "$7,500.00 in alleged unpaid wages, plus attorneys' fees, costs and expenses as determined by the Court." The district court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Third Circuit reversed, first noting that the FLSA does not contain conditional class certification language. The court nonetheless applied the "relation back doctrine," which allows a district court to retain jurisdiction over a matter that would appear moot after expiration of a named plaintiff's individual claims, to prevent use of a Rule 68 offer as a "sword."