Suppose you’re an employer who has been served with a wage & hour claim. Rather than fight the claim, you decide to give in.
You file an Offer of Judgment (under Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if you’re keeping track at home) and offer to provide the employee with more than the maximum relief to which she might be entitled including unpaid wages, liquidated damages, interest, attorney’s fees and costs.
What happens if the employee rejects that offer?
The federal court in Connecticut decided that question on Friday: The employee’s claims must be dismissed as “moot”. Employer wins.
The case of Allard v. Post Road Entertainment (download here) involved a group of bartenders at the popular Black Bear Saloon pub. The court found it relatively easy to dispose of the employee’s collective action claims noting that the application of Rule 68 should lead to a dismissal here.
For employers, it is easy to fight and fight without realizing that sometimes there is a benefit to raising the white flag early. In Allard, the employer not only got the case knocked out, but it didn’t even have to pay the employee who rejected the offer in the first place.