United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
M. AFRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is plaintiff’s motion to conditionally
certify a collective action. See R. Doc. No. 15. For
the following reasons, the motion is granted.
FLSA provides that an action to recover “unpaid
overtime compensation . . . may be maintained against any
employer . . . by any one or more employees for and [on]
behalf of himself or themselves and other employees similarly
situated.” 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). But the FLSA does
not define “similarly situated” or otherwise
explain how the certification of such collective actions
are two main lines of authority that prescribe different
methods of determining whether a case may proceed as a
collective action pursuant to § 216(b). See Mooney
v. Aramco Servs. Co., 54 F.3d 1207, 1213 (5th Cir.
1995). The first is known as “two-stage class
certification,” which was developed in a line of cases
starting with Lusardi v. Xerox Corp., 118 F.R.D. 351
(D.N.J. 1987), and the second is referred to as
“spurious” class certification, as typified by
Shushan v. University of Colorado, 132 F.R.D. 263
(D. Colo. 1990). Because the two-stage class certification
procedure is routinely used by all sections of this Court,
the Court finds that the Lusardi procedure is
appropriate in this case. See also Wellman v. Grand
Isle Shipyard, Inc., No. 14-831, 2014 WL
5810529, at *1-3 (E.D. La. 2014).
Fifth Circuit has explained the typical Lusardi
Under Lusardi, the trial court approaches the
“similarly situated” inquiry via a two-step
analysis. The first determination is made at the so-called
“notice stage.” At the notice stage, the district
court makes a decision-usually based only on the pleadings
and any affidavits which have been submitted-whether notice
of the action should be given to potential class members.
Because the court has minimal evidence, this determination is
made using a fairly lenient standard, and typically results
in “conditional certification” of a
representative class. If the district court
“conditionally certifies” the class, putative
class members are given notice and the opportunity to
“opt-in.” The action proceeds as a representative
action through discovery.
Mooney, 54 F.3d at 1213-14 (footnote omitted);
see also Acevedo v. Allsup’s Convenience
Stores, Inc., 600 F.3d 516, 518-19 (5th Cir. 2010).
second stage of the Lusardi procedure “is
typically precipitated by a motion for
‘decertification’ by the defendant usually filed
after discovery is largely complete and the matter is ready
for trial.” Mooney, 54 F.3d at 1214. Only the
first stage is implicated by the instant motion.
“lenient standard” at the notice stage requires
“nothing more than substantial allegations that the
putative class members were together the victims of a single
decision, policy, or plan.” Id. at 1214 n.8
(quoting Sperling v. Hoffman-La Roche, Inc., 118
F.R.D. 392, 407 (D.N.J. 1988)). However, “[w]hile the
standard at this stage is not particularly stringent, it is
by no means automatic.” Lima v. Int’l
Catastrophe Solutions, Inc., 493 F.Supp.2d 793, 798
(E.D. La. 2007) (internal quotation marks omitted).
FLSA class determination is appropriate when there is a
demonstrated similarity among the individual situations . . .
[and] some factual nexus which binds the named plaintiffs and
the potential class members together as victims of a
particular alleged [policy or practice].” Xavier v.
Belfor USA Grp., Inc., 585 F.Supp.2d 873, 877-78 (E.D.
La. 2008). That determination is usually ...