United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
M. AFRICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is plaintiff Zabian Rowe's (“Rowe”)
motion to conditionally certify a collective
action under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”). For the following reasons, the motion is
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 Wellman v.
Grand Isle Shipyard, Inc., No. 14-831, 2014 WL
5810529, at *1-3 (E.D. La. 2014) (Africk, J.).
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
threshold “notice stage” is implicated by 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
the notice stage, the plaintiff bears the burden of making a
preliminary factual showing that at least a few similarly
situated individuals exist.” Id. In doing so,
“[a] plaintiff need only demonstrate a reasonable basis
for the allegation that a class of similarly situated persons
may exist.” Id. “However, at least some
evidence beyond unsupported factual assertions of a single
decision, policy, or plan should be presented.”
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 ...