Courts often cite the generally lenient standard for conditional certification, but that standard, like any other, has its limits.  In Holmes v. Quest Diagnostics, Inc.pdf., Case No. 11-80567 (S.D. Fla. June 14, 2012), the plaintiffs sought to represent a class of phlebotomists for Quest Diagnostics nationwide.  They claimed that the company essentially required off-the-clock time and thus failed to pay them overtime.

The plaintiffs sought conditional certification.  They noted that 29 potential members across the country had opted into the litigation, and filed 23 declarations in support of their motion.

The court, however, was unimpressed by this showing.  It noted that the declarations were, for the most part, cookie cutter forms and that they contained little concrete detail.  By contrast, the defendant submitted detailed declarations regarding the class members’ differing duties. 

Although it acknowledged the relatively lenient standard, the court refused to grant conditional certification.

The Bottom Line:  Some courts will continue to deny even conditional certification when the plaintiffs have only made a slight showing that the putative class members are similarly situated.