Texas v. United States Department of Labor, No. 18-40246 (5th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
In 2016, the Texas federal court enjoined the DOL's proposed Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Rule and specifically enjoined the DOL from implementing and enforcing that proposed rule, pending further order of that court. In 2017, a restaurant worker in New Jersey filed suit against her former employer, Chipotle, in the New Jersey federal court for unpaid overtime pay, relying on the proposed Overtime Rule. At issue was whether the Texas federal court may hold the restaurant worker and her attorneys in contempt for filing the FLSA lawsuit against Chipotle in the New Jersey federal court and contending that she was entitled to overtime pay according to the proposed Overtime Rule.
The Fifth Circuit held that the Texas federal court did not have the authority under Rule 65(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to hold the restaurant worker and her attorneys in contempt, because she and her attorneys did not act in privity with, and she was not adequately represented by, the DOL in the injunction case. Therefore, the Texas federal court lacked personal jurisdiction over the worker and her attorneys. The court reversed the district court's judgment, including the award of attorneys' fees against her and her lawyers, rendering judgment in their favor.