Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, authored “Defending Wage and Hour Collective Actions Under the FLSA: Overview,” a Practice Note published by Thomson Reuters Practical Law.

Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full version in PDF format):

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally allows plaintiffs to assert claims individually or on behalf of similarly situated individuals in a collective action. The aggregate nature of FLSA collective actions means that even relatively small individual claims can add up to significant back pay awards. The procedure governing FLSA collective actions differs in significant ways from class actions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 23.

FLSA collective actions are some of the most expensive lawsuits employers can face. Nearly every aspect of an employer’s payroll and compensation practices is a potential source of liability, including procedures for clocking in and out, meal and rest breaks, calculating overtime compensation, and the classification of certain employees as exempt. Employers facing an FLSA collective action or hoping to avoid one should therefore understand the nature of collective actions and the issues likely to arise during litigation.

This Note provides an overview of the major issues employers face when defending federal wage and hour collective actions, including certification, decertification, and summary judgment motions, discovery issues, remedies, and settlement. This Note also discusses class actions based on violations of state wage and hour laws and limitations on class and collective actions.


Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.