Mabe v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc.

Case Movement

Case Details

  • Case Status: Decided
  • Docket Number: 1:20-cv-00591
  • Category: Workforce and Benefits


Section 191 of New York’s Labor Law requires employers to pay “manual workers” on a weekly basis. “Manual worker” has been broadly interpreted over time to include restaurant workers. The law does have an exemption and waiver process for large employers (1,000+ employees in the state). The key issue in this litigation is that, until 2019, the law had been enforced for over a century only by the state’s department of labor.

In 2019, a New York appellate court created a private right of action, which had a mushrooming effect on litigation. Many of those now caught in litigation are small to medium size restaurants that are unable to request a waiver.

April 28, 2022

The Restaurant Law Center and several other organizations filed an amicus brief in support of a retailer challenging the private right of action.

May 6, 2022

The Restaurant Law Center and co-amici filed a Response to the Plaintiff’s Objection to Amici’s Brief, explaining how Plaintiff’s arguments merely underscore the importance of certifying the trial court’s order for interlocutory appeal.

March 23, 2023

The Northern District of New York granted our motion for leave to participate as amici and discussed our brief’s content at length, but the judge denied the defendant’s motion to certify the MTD order for an immediate appeal. In summary, the judge found that the first and third criteria for an immediate appeal were met, but not the second, which requires that “genuine doubt as to whether the district court applied the correct legal standard in its order.” Since there is only one case on this question decided by the New York State Appellate Division and the MTD ruling followed that one decision, there is currently no “substantial ground for dispute.” The judge highlighted that “more than a claim that the court’s ruling was wrong” is needed.