This blog has discussed both overtime and class-action litigation. Currently filed in federal court in New York is a case which deals with both. Top fashion designer, Alexander Wang, has his factory in New York City’s Chinatown and is now facing a lawsuit by 30 of his current and former employees who allege that he is running a sweatshop in which employees are regularly forced to work 16-hour days without overtime.
Wenyu Lu was allegedly forced to work 25 hours straight without a break. Exhausted, Lu was hospitalized and then fired. Flor Duante is the second plaintiff and she alleges she was forced to work 90 hours a week in Wang’s factory and that she and Lu were both fired after filing for worker’s compensation due to work-sustained injuries.
Wang dismisses the allegations as a retaliation from a disgruntled employee. A representative of Wang’s company claims that Lu was fired for “serious harassment issues” and that the company stands by its decision to “promote a safe work environment for all employees”.
However, this doesn’t hold up against the fact that the claims of thirty different Wang employees are included in the initial suit. Many of the members of the class action have asked to remain anonymous because they still work for Wang and do not want to lose their jobs.
The case, initially filed in Queens Supreme Court, has changed plaintiff’s counsel and the charges were dropped so that it could move into federal court. The plaintiff’s have asked Federal Judge Harold Baer to certify the case as a class-action suit. As previously discussed in this blog, a case can be certified as a class-action when (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable; (2) the class shares common questions of law or fact which predominate over any questions affecting only individual members; (3) the class representatives’ claims are typical of those of the class; (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class; and 5) a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy. A plaintiff seeking class certification needs to prove that these requirements have been met, but does not need to prove that it is likely to succeed on the actual merits of the lawsuit.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center has a team of attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and who have successfully handled many large wage and hour disputes. Our Elgin and Aurora overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, as well as the laws that govern overtime cases. Our attorneys are dedicated to getting you your unpaid wages and giving you efficient and dynamic representation. If you believe you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago wage and hour attorneys by phone at (877) 990-4990, or through our online form.