Weil v. Metal Technologies, Inc., No. 18-2556 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Metal Technologies (MT), a Bloomfield, Indiana manufacturer of automobile parts, employs around 500 workers. Plaintiffs filed class and collective actions against MT, alleging violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Indiana wage laws. They argued that MT unlawfully paid employees only for the hours that they were scheduled to work even when employees’ timestamps showed that they were clocked in for longer than that. The district court conditionally certified—but later decertified—those claims. After decertification, the plaintiffs proceeded in their individual capacities and secured a very modest award. They also contended that MT withheld wages from employees’ paychecks for uniform rentals; Indiana law authorized withholding only for uniform purchases. The district court entered judgment for the class on those claims. While appeal was pending, Indiana amended its law to authorize withholding for uniform rentals and made that amendment retroactive. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the decertification order but vacated and remanded for reconsideration of the wage-deduction claim in light of the new law, which will likely also require recalculation of attorneys’ fees and costs. Plaintiffs failed to provide evidence that employees were actually working without compensation, not simply that they were clocked in for over 40 hours, and lacked proof of any injury.