FLSA Cases Required To Attend Mediation

Being paid fair wages is a vitally important subject for all Americans. The importance of receiving fair wages is reflected in the ever-increasing wage and hour litigation. Because this fair wage and hour litigation has packed court dockets across the country, we are seeing a new trend in certain parts of the country where all litigation brought under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) is first required to go to mediation before going before a judge.

For example, according to an announcement by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, starting on October 3, 2016, cases filed under the FLSA will be ordered to go to mediation as a first step. The mediation must take place within 60 days of the referral to mediation. The information that must be exchanged during mediation includes:

  1. Any existing documents that describe the plaintiff's duties and responsibilities.

  2. Records of wages paid to and hours worked by the plaintiff (e.g., payroll records, time sheets, work schedules, wage statements and wage notices).

  3. The plaintiff must produce a spreadsheet of alleged underpayments and other damages.

  4. The defendant(s) must produce any existing documents describing compensation policies or practices.

  5. If the defendants intend to assert an inability to pay, then they must produce proof of financial condition, including tax records, business records or other documents demonstrating their financial status.

The question now is whether this mediation trend will spread across the country to lessen the court's load and help streamline cases. The future months will be telling.

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