The Fair Labor Standards Act

A Broad Geographical Scope Should Be Certified When Courts Grant Class Certification In Collective Actions Brought Pursuant To The Fair Labor Standards Act

By Scott C. Adams | Employment Law Attorney
Published: May 31, 2016

When confronted with a Class Certification Motion pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards (“FLSA”), many employers argue to the Court that the class of employees should be limited by geographical scope.  Such arguments are not well founded and are contrary to the remedial purposes of the FLSA.

Many Courts have conditionally certified nationwide classes under the FLSA. For example, in Morgan v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc. the Eleventh Circuit upheld a nationwide class of store managers that were misclassified as exempt employees under the FLSA. As Courts have observed, there is no indication that Congress intended for the Fair Labor Standards Act to only allow small collective actions involving unpaid overtime to proceed. Furthermore, for Courts to limit FLSA class actions in this way would lead to the absurd result that employers could escape FLSA liability by making sure to underpay vast numbers (rather than smaller numbers) of their employees.

Even though Courts have granted class certification on a broad geographical scope, many employers still argue that an employees’ proposed class needs to be limited in geographical scope. This argument is typically premised on the employer’s demand that the Class Certification Motion contain evidence that the alleged violations of the FLSA actually occurred at each of the employer’s locations.

Such arguments are contrary to law. Courts across the country have certified classes encompassing multiple locations of a Defendant without employees from those locations testifying to the FLSA violation. For Employers to demand such from Plaintiffs would be putting the proverbial cart before the horse. All that is required is a demonstration that an Employer has a common policy of unlawfully denying overtime pay or minimum wage.

Wage laws are meant to protect the most vulnerable of our community. To be sure you are receiving the pay you are rightfully entitled too, contact a Wage & Hour attorney at LaBar & Adams, P.A. We can reached at: www.LabarAdams.com; www.OrlandoOvertime.com; www.OrlandoEmploymentLawyer.com; 1-866-680-4LAW.

 

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Scott C. Adams
Employment Law Attorney

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