(a)Appeal. One or more employees may file an appeal as representatives of a class of employees. The judge will hear the case as a class appeal if he or she finds that a class appeal is the fairest and most efficient way to adjudicate the appeal and that the representative of the parties will adequately protect the interests of all parties. When a class appeal is filed, the time from the filing date until the judge issues his or her decision under paragraph (b) of this section is not counted in computing the time limit for individual members of the potential class to file individual appeals.
(b)Procedure. The judge will consider the appellant's request and any opposition to that request, and will issue an order within 30 days after the appeal is filed stating whether the appeal is to be heard as a class appeal. If the judge denies the request, the appellants affected by the decision may file individual appeals within 30 days after the date of receipt of the decision denying the request to be heard as a class appeal. Each individual appellant is responsible for either filing an individual appeal within the original time limit, or keeping informed of the status of a class appeal and, if the class appeal is denied, filing an individual appeal within the additional 35-day period.
(c)Standards. In determining whether it is appropriate to treat an appeal as a class action, the judge will be guided but not controlled by the applicable provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(d)Electronic filing. A request to hear a case as a class appeal and any opposition thereto may not be filed in electronic form. Subsequent pleadings may be filed and served in electronic form, provided that the requirements of § 1201.14 are satisfied.