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Recent Decision Illustrates Low Threshold For FLSA Class Notice

Published by on November 9, 2007

A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia illustrates the relatively low threshold for conditional certification of a class under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for purposes of notice to class members.  Memorandum Opinion, Castillo v. P&R Enterprises, Inc., No. 1:07-cv-01195 (Oct. 19, 2007).  A court may certify a conditional class […]

A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia illustrates the relatively low threshold for conditional certification of a class under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for purposes of notice to class members.  Memorandum Opinion, Castillo v. P&R Enterprises, Inc., No. 1:07-cv-01195 (Oct. 19, 2007).  A court may certify a conditional class of putative plaintiffs prior to discovery upon an initial showing that the members of the class are “similarly situated.”  Hoffman-LaRoche v. Sperling, 493 U.S. 165, 170 (1989).  As the court noted, the burden on the plaintiff at the class notice stage is only to come forth with a “modest showing” of a common plan or policy to deprive them of overtime compensation. 

The court granted a motion for conditional certification of a potential class of 760 janitorial workers based on the affidavits of two plaintiffs that they were denied overtime pay and told the company did not pay overtime.  The court further ordered the employer to turn over the names and addresses of all potential class members.

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