Biziko v. Van Horne, No. 20-10033 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
After a jury found that defendants were liable for violations of overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), defendants alleged various errors by the district court. The Fifth Circuit held that defendants' alleged errors were either unpreserved in the district court or inadequately briefed and thus forfeited on appeal. The court paused to address one argument regarding plaintiff's claim that defendants are not an "enterprise engaged in commerce" subject to the overtime requirements of the FLSA.
The court held, as a matter of first impression, that 29 U.S.C. 203(s)(1)(A) is not jurisdictional and therefore subject to forfeiture. In holding so, the court followed the Supreme Court's decision in Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500 (2006), which held that a similar requirement under Title VII is not jurisdictional—as well as the First Circuit's decisions in Chao v. Hotel Oasis, Inc., 493 F.3d 26 (1st Cir. 2007), and Martinez v. Petrenko, 792 F.3d 173 (1st Cir. 2015), which reached the same conclusion as to the enterprise element of the FLSA. In this case, defendants forfeited any objection to FLSA enterprise coverage on appeal when they stipulated to it before the district court.