Getting a conditional class certified in court requires the plaintiff to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the rest of the opt-in plaintiffs were “similarly situated.” In Jarosz v. St. Mary Med. Ctr., PICS Case No. 14-1560 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 22, 2014), an employee claimed she was never properly compensated for performing work during her meal break, and that this was a policy throughout her work. The court decertified the potential class because the circumstances showed this meal break policy was not centralized. Factors such as employees from other departments and positions, as well as the fact that meal breaks were scheduled differently depending on the department, aided the court in reaching its decision.
This court’s decision is important to show that just being employed by the same employer is not enough for additional plaintiffs to opt-in to a class action (collective action) suit. The “similarly situated” standard is focus in this court’s holding. The certification of a class action becomes inappropriate when individual issues would overcome issues that the class as a whole would have.
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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus and Green represent clients in all areas of Employment Law, and handle class action lawsuits. For more information contact us online, or call 215-574-0600.