In Robertson v. LTS Management Services LLC, 642 F.Supp.2d 922 (W.D. Mo. 2008), the United Stated District Court for the Western District of Missouri located in Kansas City Missouri, reviewed the plaintiffs' request for conditional certification of a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The plaintiffs sought to certify a class of hourly debt collection employees who were not properly paid overtime compensation.
The plaintiff employees alleged that they were subject to a common policy of the employer requiring them and those similarly situated to arrive to work early, work through breaks and work after the end of their shifts without overtime compensation. The plaintiffs further alleged that time records of the employer were not accurate and were adjusted to artificially record a 40 hour workweek. The plaintiffs provided affidavits showing that they were similarly situated and that a conditional certification order should be granted.
Defendant argued that a class should not be certified because a Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation resulted in the settlement and release of a number of employee claims.
The FLSA requires employers who employ non-exempt employees to pay time and a half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek. 29 U.S.C. § 207. Employers who violate federal wage and hour law are liable for payment of unpaid overtime compensation and liquidated damages. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). An action to recover overtime and liquidated damages may be maintained by any one or more employees for and in behalf of himself or themselves and other employees similarly situated. Id.
The court pointed out that in Young v. Cerner Corp., 503 F.Supp.2d 1226, 1228 (W.D.Mo.2007). the court found that "[t]he Eighth Circuit has not yet adopted a standard for determining whether plaintiffs and the class they wish to represent are 'similarly situated' but other courts in the Western District of Missouri have used a two-step approach."
Id. at 1229. "Conditional certification in the first step requires nothing more than substantial allegations that the putative class members were together the victims of a single decision, policy or plan.... Although the standard is a lenient one, plaintiffs must present more than mere allegations; i.e. some evidence to support the allegations is required."
Id. at 1229
Attorney Kevin J. Dolley,Two Pershing Square 2300 Main Street, 9th Floor Kansas City, MO 64108
*By Appointment Only