Bigger v. Facebook, Inc., Seventh Circuit, No. 19-1944, August 2, 2019  

Issue: Whether notice should be given to all potential plaintiffs in a class action against Facebook, regardless of whether the workers signed an arbitration agreement.  

Summary: In this brief, NELP wrote a portion of a brief authored by counsel at Lichten & Liss-Riordan.  The brief argues that the district court was correct in issuing notice to all similarly situated Facebook workers, including those who had signed an arbitration agreement.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is meant to be interpreted broadly to advance its remedial purpose. Because of this, courts have issued notice in FLSA class actions to any workers who may be affected by the case, even if they are ultimately unable to join the class. This encourages enforcement and educates workers about their rights. Generally, courts have only required a minimal showing in FLSA cases that others in the potential class are similarly situated before the collective is conditionally certified and notice is sent. 

The amicus brief argues that the court should adopt a rule that authorizes notice regardless of whether the individual worker contests the validity of their arbitration agreement. In this case, the plaintiff is challenging the agreement and excluding workers who have signed arbitration agreements would prematurely settle the question of the agreements’ validity. Notifying all potential affected workers of their rights and Facebook’s possible violation of those rights is in line with the letter and spirit of the FLSA.  

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