Christopher Lilly Reacts To High Court’s Tyson Class Action Ruling
Law360, New York (March 22, 2016, 7:53 PM ET) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed a $5.8 million judgment against Tyson Foods in a worker don-doff case, holding that averages and other statistical analyses can be used to show similarities between disparate class members. Here, attorneys tell Law360 why the Supreme Court’s ruling in Tyson Foods Inc. v. Bouaphakeo is significant.
“The Tyson Foods decision is a battle of the experts in the wage and hour class action field that will probably be interesting only to legal insiders. However, Tyson should take away from the decision the importance of optics. The hogs head into the ‘Kill Department’ and employees are paid under a ‘gang-time’ system. The court homed in on those phrases in concluding that the employees’ work was ‘grueling.’ At that point, it was all but certain the employees would get the benefit of any doubt. Employers are reminded that judges deal in words, and words matter to them,” said Christopher A. Lilly.