FLSA statute of limitations tolled

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 19, 2022

FLSA statute of limitations tolled

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 19, 2022

Where the district court issued a stay to allow the defendant to take an interlocutory appeal to the Fourth Circuit, which prevents plaintiffs from sending notices to putative collective members and limits their ability to opt in, the extraordinary circumstances beyond the plaintiffs’ control justified equitable tolling of the statute of limitations.


Plaintiffs bring this action individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals against Maximus Inc., alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, and various state statutes and common law. This matter now comes before the court on plaintiffs’ opposed motion for equitable tolling.


Plaintiffs argue that extraordinary circumstances exist in this case to warrant equitable tolling. Specifically, they have diligently sought to preserve the FLSA claims of the putative collective members, but the court’s stay of this case prevents them from sending notice to these individuals, which therefore limits their ability to opt in. For that reason, they request that the court toll the statute of limitations for the period beginning when the court issued the February 28 order granting conditional certification and staying the case through the return of the case from the Fourth Circuit.

Defendant responds that equitable tolling conflicts with the FLSA’s statutory limits, and that plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate any extraordinary circumstances that merit equitable tolling.

The court agrees with plaintiffs and will grant the motion for equitable tolling. The combination of the court’s Feb. 28, 2022, stay and certification for interlocutory appeal prevents putative opt-in plaintiffs from receiving notice of the lawsuit, and their claims may consequently become time barred. For that reason, the putative opt-in plaintiffs face extraordinary circumstances beyond their control that justify equitable tolling. Other federal courts have granted equitable tolling under similar circumstances.

Plaintiffs’ opposed motion for equitable tolling granted.

Thomas v. Maximus Inc., Case No. 3:21-cv-498, May 10, 2022. EDVA at Richmond (Novak). VLW 022-3-198. 7 pp.

VLW 022-3-198

Virginia Lawyers Weekly


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