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Wage and Hour Class Certification: Impact of Appellate Authority Applying the Specific Jurisdiction Rule of Bristol-Myers to Collective Actions

Strategies for Future Claims Due to Restrictions on Multistate Actions and the Limits on Personal Jurisdiction

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will address the effects of the circuit court decisions addressing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions. The panel will discuss the current standards that courts apply when ruling on certification or decertification, the exercise of personal jurisdiction over corporate defendants, and the scope of FLSA collective action moving forward in 2022.


On Aug. 17, 2021, in Canaday v. The Anthem Companies Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit became the first appellate court to hold that only individuals with a connection to the forum state may join a collective action under the FLSA. This ruling protects employers by limiting their liability and expense in litigating claims of nonresident opt-in employees who join an FLSA collective action. It also prevents an employee from engaging in forum shopping of federal courts for the most favorable outcomes.

In Vallone v. The CJS Solutions Group d/b/a The HCI Group, the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court's conclusion that Bristol-Myers Squibb applied to limit the scope of an FLSA action. In Vallone, the plaintiffs asked the district court to certify a nationwide collective action that included thousands of workers over several years, including workers who did not live in the forum state, Minnesota, or work for HCI (a Florida company). The district court declined to conditionally certify a nationwide collective action, instead conditionally certifying only a limited group of individuals whose work for HCI occurred in Minnesota or who were Minnesota residents.

In Waters v. Day & Zimmermann NPS Inc., a divided panel of the First Circuit disagreed, noting that the Sixth and Eighth Circuit “decision[s do not] suggest that the Fourteenth Amendment directly limits federal-court authority to entertain multi-state collective actions,” and thus concluding that those courts had overreached in extending Bristol to adjudication of nationwide federal claims in a federal court.

These decisions constitute a split among the federal circuit courts of appeal as to whether Bristol-Myers Squibb should apply to FLSA collective actions, a question that the Supreme Court ultimately may have to answer. The decisions also make "forum shopping" less attractive in the Sixth and Eighth Circuits, where plaintiffs who file collective actions against nonresident defendants will have a more difficult time achieving conditional certification of nationwide collective actions. The developments in this jurisprudence will likely impact strategy and options for employers defending putative collective litigation outside the employer's home state.

Listen as our expert panel discusses these decisions' impact on future collective and class actions in employment claims. The panel will address best practices for stakeholders seeking certification (or decertification) of such claims.



  1. History of restrictions in prior collective and class actions
    1. Bristol-Myers Squibb
  2. Canaday, Vallone, and Waters decisions
    1. Limits on multistate jurisdiction
    2. Limits on personal jurisdiction
  3. Best practices


The panel will address these and other relevant topics:

  • What are the key conclusions in the Canaday decision?
  • What are the primary findings in the Vallone decision?
  • Why did the Waters court disagree?
  • What’s next?
  • How will these limitations on personal jurisdiction impact future collective actions?


Austin, Liz
Liz Austin

Williams Weese Pepple & Ferguson

Ms. Austin handles a variety of corporate litigation and employment matters. Her corporate litigation practice focuses...  |  Read More

Korn, Matthew
Matthew R. Korn

Fisher & Phillips

Mr. Korn focuses his practice on defending employers across the country in complex class and collective action...  |  Read More

Tripp, Noel
Noel P. Tripp

Jackson Lewis

Mr. Tripp practices exclusively in employment law and has been involved in matters pending before federal and state...  |  Read More

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