The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that provides employers with specific employment standards they must abide by. Employers must conform to the minimum wage, age, record keeping, and overtime rates the FLSA establishes. Texas employees whose employers violate these standards may file a lawsuit asserting their rights under the FLSA.
Employees can join together to file their claims under the collective action process. To bring a collective action, the employees must be “similarly situated.” Similarly situated employees are those that are subject to the same employment policies and procedures, even if they work in different locations or divisions. Typically, these actions are based on employee misclassifications, wage discrepancies, and/or break times.
Collective actions are similar to class actions; however, there are distinct procedural differences between the two processes. First, collective actions require the potential employees to “opt-in” to the lawsuit. Opting-in requires the employees provide written consent to be a party in the lawsuit. Employees that do not opt-in will not receive the benefits of the judgment and will not be bound by the ruling. In contrast, class actions automatically include all members of the class, and those that do not want to be involved must opt-out. Next, courts will only certify a lawsuit as a collective action after they conduct a two-part inquiry. Finally, a class action statute of limitations can be tolled while the court determines whether the employees can establish the proper class. Alternatively, the statute of limitations for collective actions will run until an employee files a consent to opt-in.
Collective actions are a beneficial way for employees to file a lawsuit against their employer. These lawsuits are often more efficient for employees because they allow the parties to gather and present evidence of their employer’s violations collectively. Generally, this will enable the parties to save time and money.
Has Your Texas Employer Violated the Fair Labor Standards Act?
If you believe your Texas employer is violating yours and your fellow employees’ wage rights, you should contact the Dallas employment lawyers at Rob Wiley, P.C. The lawyers at our firm understand the complex procedural and substantive issues these cases present. We are skilled at handling the unique challenges and will determine the best strategy for your specific employment issue. Contact our office today at 214-528-6500 to schedule a consultation with an attorney on our team.