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It takes just a handful of workers to make a class action

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in Human Resources

It’s every employer’s nightmare: A disgruntled former employee files a lawsuit alleging you didn’t pay overtime. Then he asks to turn it into a class action, representing other employees. Now a claim worth a few hundred dollars has turned into a major lawsuit.

Recent case: Gerti Mehmedi sued La Dolce Vita Bistro in Cleveland for unpaid overtime. Four other employees wanted to join the lawsuit, alleging that they, too, didn’t get overtime pay and that the failure to pay overtime was a widespread practice.

A court approved the motion to form a class, morphing the case into a collective action with potential double pay for all employees who didn’t get overtime pay they were entitled to. (Mehmedi, et al., v. La Dolce Vita Bistro, No. 1:10-CV-01591, ND OH, 2010)

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