Northern District of Illinois Federal Court Grants Motion to Strike Putative Overtime Class-Action

Class-action lawsuits are common in unpaid overtime cases because the misclassification of employees or miscalculation of overtime usually happens on a large scale because major companies have such sizable work forces. Because such lawsuits can prove to be quite costly, defendant employers will do whatever they can to dispose of those claims in any way possible. Lubin Austermuehle knows the ‘tricks of the trade’ that defendants use, and our Skokie overtime attorneys found a federal case the illustrates one of the tools that wage claim defendants utilize.

Wright v. Family Dollar Inc. is a putative class-action filed by former associates who worked for Defendant Family Dollar and were allegedly not paid regular and overtime wages that they earned in the course of their employment. The named plaintiff, a store manager, alleged that Defendant “withheld compensation from associates by giving its store managers unfeasibly low payroll budgets” that forced those managers to require associates to work without being paid. The case, which alleged violations of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, was initially filed in the Cook County Circuit Court, but was removed to the federal court by Defendant.

Defendant then filed a motion to strike class allegations pursuant to FRCP23(c)(1)(A) and (d)(1)(D), claiming that Plaintiffs could not establish typicality and adequacy of representation. The Court granted Defendant’s motion, holding that the named plaintiff, as a manager, participated in the wrongful conduct at issue and her counsel therefore had a conflict of interest with the class members who were associates. The Court also held that the typicality requirement was not met because there were defenses unique to the named plaintiff and other managers in the putative class that did not apply to associate class members.

Lubin Austermuehle has a team of wage claim attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and who have successfully handled many large disputes. Our Chicago overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying overtime. When workers do not receive the wages they should, a lawsuit may be the only way to recover the wages that are rightfully theirs. Lubin Austermuehle is based in Chicago, Lubin Austermuehle’s Chicago litigation attorneys represent clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Highland Park wage and hour attorneys by phone at 1 630-333-0333, or through our online form.

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