Our Florida Lawyers are Committed to Fight for Large Classes of Victims
Collective actions are a special kind of class-action lawsuit for employment and wage matters. They allow many employees to come together in one lawsuit and bring their legal claims against the wrongdoing employer. Lawyers typically use these actions where employers have engaged in illegal activities that have caused similar problems for a large class of similarly situated employees.
Our Florida lawyers have extensive experience in handling collective action lawsuits. We are committed to fighting for justice for large classes of employees against even the most powerful employers.
Collective Action Lawsuits under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Attorneys use collective action procedures for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A “collective action” is appropriate where the employer has violated FLSA by, for example, failing to pay overtime to a large number of employees or former employees, who work a similar job and are paid on the same general basis and subject to the same payment rules. Unlike the more common class action case, in a collective action case, only those persons who have specifically opted to participate in the case will benefit from the court’s judgment.
Purpose of Collective Actions
Collective actions enable a large group of employees injured by similar misconduct to have their claims joined together in a single lawsuit. This is critical in situations involving hundreds or thousands of class members, where individual damages may be small compared to the cost of a lawsuit. This is because it does not always make economic sense for people to file small claims in a court proceeding. Collective actions are like class actions, with important differences.
By combining many claims, individual employees can be more successful in receiving compensation for common problems suffered as a result of their employer’s illegal conduct. Collective action procedures also provide persons who cannot otherwise afford legal representation with access to qualified and experienced legal counsel who will represent them and the class as a whole with regard to their meritorious claims. For example, with tip pools, the amounts employees are claiming can be a good basis for a collective.
Benefits of A Collective Action
This is an action alleging overtime violations under Section 215(a)(1) and (2) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The Act at Section 216(b) authorizes one or more employees to bring an action under the Act on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated.
Rule 83, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, authorizes courts, in any case not provided for by rule, to “regulate their practice in any manner not inconsistent with” federal or local rules.
Court authorization of notice serves the legitimate goal of avoiding a multiplicity of duplicative suits. Additionally, the benefits of the class action provisions of Section 16(b) “depend on employees receiving accurate and timely notice concerning the pendency of the collective action, so they can make informed decisions about whether to participate.” Thus, the Court in its discretion may supervise such notice.
The Differences Between Collective and Class Actions
The nature of this provision is to provide an “opt-in” procedure, which differs from Rule23 class action opt-out procedures. Thus, FLSA plaintiffs may not certify a class under Rule23. As these actions are “collective actions,” not Rule23 class actions, they are not subject to numerosity, commonality, and typicality requirements, and a named plaintiff is not entitled to “represent” other plaintiffs in a class sense.
Help Those Also Sharing Your Harm To Join Your Lawsuit
Our experience in complex collective action cases has enabled us to litigate the claims of numerous employees against large corporations. In fact, our collective action lawsuits have resulted in the admission of one of our partners into an elite forum reserved for attorneys with settlements or verdicts over $2 million.
Let our experience and knowledge also work for you. Please contact our Florida attorneys today to arrange for a free consultation.