Class Actions

Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows for a representative party or parties to file a civil lawsuit against an employer on behalf of a class or group of employees who have been wronged in the same way. Initially, in order for the class to be certified under Rule 23, the representative party or parties must satisfy four prerequisites in Rule 23(a):

  • Numerosity: The class must be so numerous that the joinder of all members is impracticable.
  • Commonality: There are questions of law or fact common to the class.
  • Typicality: The claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class.
  • Adequacy: The representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

If these four factors are satisfied by the representative party or parties, they must then satisfy one of the criteria in Rule 23(b). Unlike collective actions under Section 216(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Rule 23 class actions require persons within the scope of the class to opt-out of the class if they do not wish to be included. As a result, Rule 23 class actions is typically larger and more inclusive than FLSA collective actions since claimants are not required to affirmatively opt-in in order to join.

If you believe that you and other employees have not been paid all of your wages or have been the victims of workplace harassment and discrimination, contact the Nolan Law Office immediately to set up a free consultation and protect your rights.