Eleventh Circuit Issues Sweeping Opinion Clarifying FLSA Regarding: Individual Liability of Supervisors and Managers

Kevin D. Fitzpatrick, Jr. : March 25, 2013 10:30 am

On March 6, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion in the case of Lamonica, et al v. Safe Hurricane Shutters, Inc., et al, Case 11-15743.  This was an action brought by nine plaintiffs who installed hurricane shutters for the defendant who claimed that the defendants had failed to pay them at one and one half times their regular rate for work in excess of forty hours a week.  The case had been tried before a jury, resulting in an award of damages to the plaintiffs.  The defendants then appealed to the Eleventh Circuit.

Next, the individual defendants argued that it was wrong to hold them personally liable for damages.  The court dismissed that argument in short order, noting that the FLSA defines an “employer” in part as “any person acting directly or indirectly in the interests of the employer in relation to an employee.”  The court stated, “our primary concern is the supervisor’s role in causing the FLSA violation.”

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