• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Courts crack down on FLSA collective actions

by on
in Human Resources

For several years now, lawyers have been trying to create collective actions by finding one or two angry employees who think they were wrongly classified as exempt employees and therefore entitled to overtime pay. By pairing two or more cases, attorneys try to turn simple litigation into massive and expensive collective-action claims.

Now some federal judges are rethinking those cases and determining that—unless it’s crystal clear that the few employees who came forward are truly similarly situated to initial plaintiffs—they will refuse to allow the case to go forward as a collective action. That’s good news for employers.

Recent case: David Keef and several other field engineers who were classified as exempt professionals filed a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime suit. They alleged that all field engineers working for their company had the same job description and were all classified the same way.

Their lawyers asked the court to allow the lawsuit to go ahead on behalf of all the other field engineers.

The court refused. It pointed out that, among the few engineers who went to an attorney, none had exactly the same job even though they had the same job description. Some were new and had less experience and, thus, less on-the-job discretion. Others were very experienced and got lots of discretion. Some worked within their field of expertise, while others did not.

Because they were so dissimilar, the court said they had to sue separately. The lawsuit could not include all the other field engineers. (Keef, et al., v. M.A. Mortenson, No. 07-CV-3915, DC MN, 2009)

Final note: Remember that under the FLSA, it is the day-to-day activities and responsibilities that count, not the title or the job description. You can’t just call an employee an executive or professional and leave it at that.

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/26877/courts-crack-down-on-flsa-collective-actions "

Related Articles...

    No matches

Leave a Comment