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Sarah Zucco handles labor and employment matters for clients in various industries. She has experience defending discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, and wage-and-hour claims filed in New York and New Jersey state and federal courts.

In Mathews v. USA Today Sports Media Group, LLC et al., plaintiff Elizabeth Mathews (Mathews) brought a collective action under the FLSA alleging that she was an employee rather than an independent contractor to the defendant. Mathews moved for conditional certification pursuant to the widely followed two-step conditional FLSA certification process adopted in Lusardi v. Xerox Corp, 118 F.R.D. 351 (D.N.J. 1987). Under this approach, an initial collective certification determination is made using a lenient standard—that proposed members of a collective are similar enough to receive notice of the lawsuit so the proposed collective member may decide whether to affirmatively join the lawsuit. In the second step, which occurs after collective certification discovery has been completed, the district court makes a second decision when the employer moves for “decertification” of the collective, using a stricter standard, to determine whether the named plaintiffs and opt-in members are “similarly situated.”

Continue Reading Eastern District of Virginia Follows the Fifth Circuit’s One-Step Certification Approach for Collective Actions Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)