Notice to Class Members Under the Fair Labor Standards Act Representative Action Provision

Federal courts currently apply different standards concerning the permissibility of notice. Although the Ninth Circuit forbids notice and the Seventh Circuit grants plaintiffs a right to send notice, the Second Circuit permits notice only in appropriate cases. This Note advocates that plaintiffs in FLSA and ADEA actions should be allowed to notify potential class members in appropriate cases. Part I analyzes inherent court powers, statutes, legislative history, and federal policies relating to notice. It concludes that enactment of FLSA and ADEA remedies did not alter the inherent power of federal courts to permit or prohibit notice. On the contrary, only judicial discretion in permitting notice fully achieves the basic congressional purposes underlying the FLSA and the ADEA. Part II proposes specific factors courts should consider in allowing or denying notice.