Class and Collective Actions for Employees
Class and collective actions are unique and efficient ways the courts resolve issues for a group of people. Typically, in a collective action, each potential plaintiff is notified of the opportunity to join, or opt in, to an existing case. In a class action, sometimes individuals are notified about a class action and must leave, or opt out, of the case and sometimes, each plaintiff must take affirmative steps to join the case, depending upon the type of class action.
Click here to see the answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Class and Collective Actions.
What is a Class Representative?
If the employment policy or procedure negatively effecting you
is also applied to other employees, with the same or similar negative
result, you might be able to be a class representative and bring
a case on behalf of all similarly situated employees. There are
some additional responsibilities involved in acting as a class representative,
which usually involves additional compensation for the person fulfilling
Click here to learn more about being a class representative.
If you think you should be a class representative, contact
Ms. DeBrota for a case evaluation.
Recent Class Actions
Overtime and Wage Claims Against Residential CRF, Inc. and CRF First
Plaintiffs Paula Crane and Linda Brewster began working for the
Defendants Residential CRF, Inc. and CRF First Choice, Inc ("CRF")
in 1989, as House Aides, House Managers and Direct Care Staff in
group home type settings. Ms. Brewster and Ms. Crane contend that
they and other similar employees across Indiana have not received
appropriate pay (one and one half their normal pay rate for hours
worked over 40 hours in one week) for overtime worked on a 24/7
shift as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Ms. Crane and
Ms. Brewster allege that they and similarly-situated current and
former employees have worked significant overtime hours on 24/7
shifts during their employment with CRF without getting the appropriate
over time pay. CRF contends that Plaintiffs and other similar employees
who worked a 24/7 shift have been paid properly.
On December 22, 2006, District Court Judge John D. Tinder granted
collective action status and ordered the distribution of a notice
regarding the case of Paula Crane and Linda Brewster et al.
v. Residential CRF, Inc. and CRF First Choice, Inc. (“CRF”),
Cause No. 1:05-cv-01883-JDT-TAB, to all individuals employed in
Indiana by CRF as Direct Care Staff, either Levels I and/or II,
who worked a 24/7 shift any time from December 20, 2002, until the
present, excluding those individuals who only worked at facilities
in Fort Wayne, Indiana (who are covered by a different lawsuit.)
This notice will advise the recipients of the opportunity to join
in the pending lawsuit, which seeks compensation for unpaid overtime
for Direct Care Staff who worked a 24/7 shift. On January 18, 2007,
the Court approved a Notice to the potential opt in plaintiffs.
Amy DeBrota is lead counsel
for the Plaintiffs, with Kathleen Sweeney of Indianapolis acting
At a settlement conference November 30, 2007, the parties reached a mutually acceptable settlement agreement and will be presenting it for Court
approving soon. Upon receiving Court approval, the Opt In Plaintiffs will
receive a notice of the settlement and a release to complete and return, in
order to participate in the settlement. The information will explain the
terms of the settlement and the amount of compensation each Opt In Plaintiff
will receive. Opt In Plaintiffs' compensation will be based on the
proportional share of the overall damages, allegedly incurred by each within the
presumptive two year statute of limitations. If you are an Opt In
Plaintiff, please wait to contact our office with questions until after you
get your settlement paperwork.
Notice of Collective
Unpaid Wage and Overtime Claims Against TLC Supported Living Services, Inc.
In a Complaint filed on April 30, 2007 in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Plaintiffs Steve and Diane Oehmen contend that they and other similar direct care staff employees across Indiana have not received appropriate pay (one and one half their normal pay rate for hours worked over 40 hours in one week) for overtime, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Mr. and Mrs. Oehmen allege that they and similarly-situated current and former employees have worked significant overtime hours during their employment with TLC, but were only paid their regular hourly rate. TLC contends that Plaintiffs and other similar employees were paid properly. Amy DeBrota is lead counsel for the Plaintiffs.
On January 15, 2008, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana conditionally certified this case and approved a collective action notice which will be mailed to all direct care staff who worked a 24/7 shift any time from December 1, 2005 until August 1, 2006. The opportunity to consent to join the case ended on May 5, 2008. The parties have reached a settlement agreement for this case and The DeBrota Law Firm LLC mailed settlement releases to all eligible opt in plaintiffs on or about June 5, 2008. You must return the settlement release no later than July 5, 2008. If you have questions about the settlement agreement and release, please contact us at 317-848-5555
Notice of Collective Action
Settlement Notice to Opt Ins.
"It is not fair to ask of others what you are
unwilling to do yourself."
The DeBrota Law Firm LLC, an Indianapolis based employment law firm, provides mediation services, consultations and employee or employer litigation representation in central Indiana and throughout the state. Amy Ficklin DeBrota represents employees with claims for unpaid wages or overtime, unpaid commissions, breach of employment contract, discrimination, equal pay, retaliation, whistleblower actions, as well as other types of employment related legal claims under federal and Indiana state law. She has special interest and experience in representing nurses, doctors, veterinarians and other health care professionals with their employment issues. Further, she provides consultations with small and medium sized employers who are interested in avoiding employment based lawsuits. Ms. DeBrota is not only a lawyer. She is also a registered Indiana mediator who is available to travel to or host mediations regarding employment disputes, personal injury claims, and general civil litigation. She has the legal knowledge and years of experience to allow her to effectively communicate with individuals who are experienced with the law, and with those for whom the legal system is unfamiliar, in order to help everyone concerned realize the benefits of an agreed settlement. Ms. DeBrota is a dedicated, effective Indiana employment law attorney and mediator based in Indianapolis, Indiana.