Many employers argue that the class of employees should be limited by geographical scope when confronted with a collective action. Such arguments are not well founded. They are also contrary to the remedial purposes of the FLSA.
Courts Certify Classes of Broad Geographical Scope
Courts have conditionally certified nationwide classes under the FLSA. The Eleventh Circuit has upheld a nationwide class of store managers that were misclassified as exempt employees. There is no indication that Congress intended for the FLSA to only allow small collective actions involving unpaid overtime. Furthermore, for Courts to limit FLSA collective actions in this way would lead to an absurd result. Employers could escape FLSA liability by making sure to underpay vast numbers (rather than smaller numbers) of employees.
Many employers still argue that an employees’ proposed class needs to be limited in geographical scope. Employer’s demand that the employee provide evidence that the alleged violations actually occurred at each of the employer’s locations.
Such arguments are contrary to law. Courts across the country have certified classes encompassing multiple locations of an employer without employees from those locations testifying to the FLSA violation. For Employers to demand such from Plaintiffs would be putting the proverbial cart before the horse. All that is required is a demonstration that an Employer has a common policy of unlawfully denying overtime pay or minimum wage and that other employees have a desire to join the collective action.
Wage laws are meant to protect the most vulnerable of our community. If you have not received your proper wages, please contact the employment lawyers at LaBar & Adams, P.A. in Orlando at 407-835-8968 or fill out the online form located on our website.