Section 216(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) gives employees the right to bring a collective action against employers who have who have violated the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Act. A collective action is on brought on behalf of the named plaintiffs as well as all “similarly situated” employees who have likewise been denied minimum wages or overtime compensation. In order to have a collective action certified, wage claimants must identify a common policy practice by the employer that violates the law.
Notably, collective actions under the FLSA are a type of representative action that is reserved solely for claimants who have not been paid minimum wages or overtime pay under the FLSA. Therefore, other class actions, such as those for employment discrimination, are typically brought under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. One important difference between FLSA collective actions and Rule 23 class actions is that in order to join a collective action under the FLSA, claimants must affirmatively opt-in to join and are not automatically included within the class.
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.