When a class action litigant seeks to discover contact information for a third party—often with respect to potential class members—privacy considerations come into play.
By: Craig A. Roeb, Esq. and Lauren S. Kadish, Esq.
September 14, 2017
Wage and hour class action litigation frequently involves lengthy and expensive battles over the proper scope of pre-class certification discovery. The extent of unnamed potential class members’ right to privacy is a constant debate between litigants. Early in the case, a plaintiff will propound discovery requesting contact information, timesheets, payroll history, for every putative class member company-wide or state-wide, even though the named plaintiff has no evidence or knowledge of unlawful practices beyond the particular location where he or she works. In an effort to protect its employees’ right to privacy, defendants will often object to these requests on the grounds that such discovery is burdensome and invades privacy rights of non-party employees.