Wisconsin Fair Labor Lawsuit
Class actions were created to enable those with small claims for whom individual litigation would be economically irrational to band together in group litigation against a common adversary. A common example would be a group of employees who were not paid their overtime compensation or were required to work off the clock.
Employees must be “similarly situated” to bring a collective or class action. Employees are “similarly situated” for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) collective wage suits if they are subject to a common policy, plan or design, that applies to several company departments or locations.
In addition to covering hourly workers, FLSA also guarantees overtime rights to people who are paid a salary but performing the tasks as an hourly worker. Such work includes food service, restaurant hospitality, leaders of a factory department, bank teller/supervisor, public service, first responder and law enforcement capacities. Any worker whose employment responsibilities include manual or physical labor are also guaranteed protection under FLSA law. All of these employees have the right to seek compensation for unlawfully denied overtime wages through an overtime collective action lawsuit.
Collective actions involve a “certification” process. The first “phase” of the collective action is the “conditional certification” phase. The case is filed and the court is asked to certify a “class” of employees who are similarly situated. In the second stage, after the “class” is conditionally certified, discovery, the information-gathering stage of a lawsuit, is conducted as to the named and opt-in plaintiffs. Unlike a standard class action where potential class members must “opt out” or formally declare themselves unwilling to proceed as part of a class action, potential class members in an FLSA collective action are required to “opt in.” Before an employee may become part of a class action, thereby forfeiting his or her right to also initiate an independent action against the employer, the employee must sign a written consent to participate in the collective action. If the court finds a common policy unites the group of similarly situated employees and that the claims can be resolved with common evidence, the collective action moves forward.
Named plaintiffs otherwise known as “class representatives,” may recover an incentive award, plus the remedies available under the statute, such as unpaid wages, double damages, interest, and attorney fees.
Call (262) 785-9606 for a Wisconsin Class Actions Attorney at the law office of Alan C. Olson & Associates to discuss your Fair Labor Lawsuit .