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Court sends class action back to drawing board

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court considered a class action against Wal­­mart that included over a million employees who claimed sex discrimination. The court said the ­­employees didn’t have enough in common to band together in one lawsuit (Wal­­mart v. Dukes).

Now federal courts are doing the same with much smaller class-action lawsuits—good news for employers.

Recent case: A class of 200 Chi­­nese Daily News reporters working out of the paper’s California offices sued, alleging unpaid overtime and other wage-and-hour violations. On appeal, the 9th Circuit Court of Ap­­peals rejected the class certification in light of the Walmart decision and sent the case back to the trial judge, who will determine if the re­­porters’ legal claims are similar enough for a single trial. (Wang, et al., v. Chinese Daily News, et al., No. 08-555083, 9th Cir., 2013)

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