Wage-Related Claims Seek Class-Wide Relief

January 25, 2010 Published Work
Connecticut Law Tribune, January 25, 2010, Vol. 36, No. 4

For several years now, employers have been plagued by an ever-increasing volume of wage-related claims. These claims are well-suited for litigation on a class-wide basis because: 1) they typically involve employer policies or practices of general application; 2) although each individual claim ordinarily raises the specter of a modest monetary award, when litigated collectively the stakes rise dramatically; and 3) the stakes are further escalated by the availability of liquidated damages and attorney's fees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Hence it is not difficult to see why wage and hour claims have become, and continue to be, the apple of the plaintiff's bar's eyes.

To date, Connecticut courts have hosted only a relative handful of wage and hour suits seeking class-wide relief; the hotbeds are California, New York and Florida. However, that has been an uptick in FLSA litigation in Connecticut over the past few months. With that in mind, this article will highlight some recent trends that Connecticut employers ought to be on the lookout for.