On appeal, the Third Circuit noted that the FLSA claims existed independently of the CBA. The workers did not seek interpretation of the CBA, but merely payment for time spent working as required by the FLSA. The Third Circuit contrasted this with prior precedent holding:
[I]f a FLSA claim depends on the disputed interpretation of a CBA provision, an employee must first go to arbitration—through the representative union—before vindicating his or her rights in federal court under the FLSA.The Court vacated the dismissal of the FLSA claims and sent them back to the district court where they can proceed without exhausting the CBA's grievance arbitration procedure.
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