Federal Circuit Court Tackles Numerosity Requirement In Overtime Class Action

Posted on February 1st, 2021 at 2:49 PM
Federal Circuit Court Tackles Numerosity Requirement In Overtime Class Action

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

An appellate panel unanimously ruled that a class action lawsuit with fewer than 40 proposed class members may be eligible for certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 if “geographic dispersion” among the individuals makes a traditional case impractical. This underscores that the inquiry is fact and circumstance dependent.

The opinion followed an appeal of a district court’s denial of class certification. The plaintiff’s action under the Fair Labor Standards Act failed because there were only 37 potential class members who did not meet a host of criteria. The court considered how far apart geographically the potential members were, the size of the potential class, the dollar amounts of each claim, and the ability to contact potential members. The plaintiff argued that the district court incorrectly found that his class of 37 was too small for approval, noting that courts generally allow a proposed class of 40 as sufficient.

The court notes that this was an opportunity to further define the requirements under which a class of employees can sue an employer for alleged wage and hour violations. This decision will provide key guidance to employers facing this type of claim in the future.

 

Tags: eccleston, eccleston law, class action

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