Because of the low standard employed by many courts, decisions denying conditional certification in FLSA cases are generally in the minority, but some careful courts will continue to make such decisions. A recent case is notable not only for the fact that the court denied conditional certification, but also that it actually examined the events in a related case to support its decision.
In Augustyniak v. Lowe’s Home Center LLC, Case No. 14-CV-00488 (W.D.N.Y., Aug. 20, 2015), the plaintiffs sought to represent a class of human resource managers against the Lowe’s do-it-yourself chain nationwide. Two years previously, the same attorneys had brought a similar case, captioned Lytle v. Lowe’s Home Centers Inc., Case No. 8:12-cv-01848, involving a different time period for essentially the same class in a Florida district court. The district court in the Lytle case had conditionally certified the class and the matter ultimately settled, although not without controversy. The district court at least twice rejected the parties’ proposed settlement agreement due to issues over the formulas used to determine how much class members would receive. Continue Reading