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Lewis v. Southeast Commercial Cleaning LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

November 24, 2014

LEWIS, ET AL.,
v.
SOUTHEAST COMMERCIAL CLEANING LLC

MEMORANDUM ORDER

KATHLEEN KAY, Magistrate Judge.

Before the court is a Motion to Conditionally Certify FLSA Collective Action and to Facilitate Notice Under 29 USC §216(b) filed by the plaintiffs Martha Miller, Michelle Lewis, Michael Lartique, Paul Waldon, and Kim Simon (hereinafter "plaintiffs" collectively). The motion is opposed by the defendant Southeast Commercial Cleaning, LLC (hereinafter "SEC" or "defendant"). For the reasons set forth below, the plaintiffs' motion is hereby GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

I.

FACTS & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The defendant, SEC, is a company engaged in the business of providing janitorial services to various commercial entities throughout the country, one of which is Prien Lake Mall in Lake Charles, Louisiana. On January 2, 2014, the plaintiffs, former employees of SEC who worked at the Prien Lake Mall, filed a complaint in this court claiming that during their employment the defendant failed to pay them the federal minimum wage required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The plaintiffs allege that this failure resulted from various improper and illegal payroll practices which they claim were all part of a standard company policy. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that:

• Defendant automatically deducted 30 minutes from plaintiffs' shifts for a "lunch break" without regard for whether plaintiffs were in fact relieved of all of their duties for the full time of that break (and in fact, plaintiffs were often not completely relieved of their duties during that break);
• Defendant rounded plaintiffs' hours down in a manner that benefitted defendant;
• Defendant required plaintiffs to attend mandatory meetings for which they were not allowed to clock in and were not paid
• Defendant required plaintiffs to report to work at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of their shifts but would not allow them to clock in until the time their scheduled shift was to begin. Doc. 17, att. 1, p. 10.

On June 25 and again on October 8 of 2014 the plaintiffs filed FLSA consent forms indicating that Barrica Reeder (also known as Barrica Busch) and Georgia Kimble had respectively joined the action as "opt-in" plaintiffs.

In the motion now before us plaintiffs ask that we conditionally certify as an FLSA Collective Class "[a]ll individuals who, since January 2011 to the present previously worked or currently work for [SEC]" pursuant to 29 USC §216(b). Doc. 17, p.2-3. Plaintiffs also request that we authorize notice of this action to potential members of the alleged class and approve the plaintiffs' forms submitted to accomplish that notice. In support of their requests, the plaintiffs claim that they are sufficiently "similarly situated" to warrant certification because the defendant subjected all of them to a set of common policies and practices that violated the FLSA.

SEC contends that the plaintiffs should not be granted conditional class certification because they have not demonstrated "(1) that any such individuals desire to opt-in to this lawsuit nor (2) that those aggrieved individuals are similarly situated to Plaintiffs. Doc. 22, p. 3.

II.

LAW & ...


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