Courts continue to recognize that the use of an automatic meal deduction policy, without more, is not enough for plaintiffs to prevail on a FLSA collective action. In this instance, the plaintiffs were current and former healthcare employees of St. Mary Medical Center who were subject to an automatic 30 minute meal period deduction which, they claimed, applied even when they worked during this period. There was no system-wide mechanism for scheduling or cancelling the automatic meal deductions. Rather, this process was left largely to the discretion of the 175 or so individual departments. St. Mary’s eventually agreed to conditional certification of all its current and former employees who had direct patient care duties during the class period under the FLSA. Notice was sent out to 2,211 such employees, of which only 64 decided to join the class. Of those 64, the court dismissed 34 on various grounds. After discovery, St. Mary’s moved to decertify the remnants of the class.  Read More>>