Class Action Certification of Underpaid Store Workers In New York

In Alix v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (16 Misc 3d 844, 838 N.Y.S.2d 885 [Sup Ct, Albany County 2007], the proposed class action included about 200,000 workers who were employed over a 12-year period in 110 stores owned and operated by the employer. While that number facially met the numerosity requirement, the court found, inter alia, that the case record contained deposition testimonies and affidavits of 49 employees who denied that they were underpaid, as otherwise alleged by the named plaintiffs. In denying the motion seeking class certification, the court also found that the plaintiffs failed to satisfy all of the other prerequisites of CPLR 901 (a). The Court held that only those workers who were actually aggrieved by an employer's improper pay practices would qualify as class members.