Adams v. ActionLink, LLC, No. 13-3265 (8th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
The Department of Labor (DOL) investigated a complaint that ActionLink, a marketing company, had misclassified some of its employees as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and failed to pay overtime compensation. During the investigation, ActionLink agreed to reclassify the employees as non-exempt and to pay them their missing back wages. It sent the employees checks with a disclaimer stating that the checks represented "full payment … wages earned, including minimum wage and overtime, up to the date of the check." Several employees cashed the checks; others did not. Some then sued ActionLink, claiming that they were entitled to additional pay under the FLSA. The district court granted the employees summary judgment and declared them non-exempt. ActionLink then moved for summary judgment against the employees who had cashed the back-wages checks, claiming that they had waived their rights for additional remuneration under 29 U.S.C. 216(b). The district court agreed and dismissed the cases. The Eighth Circuit affirmed in part, agreeing that the employees are non-exempt, but concluded the release language on the checks was insufficient to notify employees of the consequences of cashing the checks. The employees therefore did not waive their FLSA claims by cashing the checks.