United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
van Meerveld United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is the Motion to Compel filed by the Plaintiffs.
(Rec. Doc. 193). For the following reasons, the Motion is
GRANTED. Plaintiffs' request for oral argument is denied.
Scott Gremillion worked as a cable technician for defendant
Grayco Communications, L.P. (“Grayco”) performing
cable repair and installation services for customers of Cox
Communications Louisiana, LLC (“Cox”). He filed
this lawsuit on behalf of himself and others similarly
situated on June 13, 2016, alleging that Grayco and Cox were
liable under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.,
and Louisiana's wage payment laws, La. Rev. Stat. §
23:631, et seq., for failing to pay him and other
technicians for work in excess of 40 hours in a work week
“through the guise of the pay-per-point/unilateral
charge-back scheme.” (Rec. Doc. 1, ¶13).
November 1, 2016, the District Court dismissed Mr.
Gremillion's claims under La. Rev. Stat. § 23:631
and § 23:632, but held that he had stated a claim under
§ 23:635. (Rec. Doc. 41). The parties consented to
proceed before the undersigned magistrate judge and on
December 8, 2016, the District Judge ordered the matter be
referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(c).
(Rec. Doc. 61). The undersigned granted Cox's motion for
summary judgment on the issue of joint employer liability,
finding that Cox was not Mr. Gremillion's employer under
the FLSA or Louisiana's wage payment laws. (Rec. Doc.
79). Cox was dismissed.
Court then granted Mr. Gremillion's motion to
conditionally certify this case as a collective action under
the FLSA, defining the class as follows: all individuals who
worked as a cable technician providing cable repair and
installation services for Grayco Communications, L.P., in
Louisiana at any time since March 24, 2014 and were paid
through a point-based system. (Rec. Doc. 90). The deadline
for plaintiffs to join the lawsuit has now passed and the
parties are proceeding with discovery. Trial is set to begin
on October 9, 2018. Discovery must be completed by July 23,
issue in this motion is the timing for production of ICOM
records by Grayco, the timing for Grayco's responses to
Plaintiff's Fourth Set of Interrogatories, and the
certain United States Department of Labor (“DOL”)
Scope of Discovery
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that “parties
may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that
is relevant to any party's claim or defense and
proportional to the needs of the case.” Fed. R. Civ.
Proc. 26(b)(1). Of note, with the 2015 amendment to Rule 26,
it is now clear that “[i]nformation within this scope
of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” Id. In assessing
proportionality of discovery, the following should be
considered: “the importance of the issues at stake in
the action, the amount in controversy, the parties'
relative access to relevant information, the parties'
resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the
issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed
discovery outweighs its likely benefit.” Id.
The advisory committee comments to the 2015 amendment to Rule
26 make clear that the parties and the court have a
collective responsibility to ensure that discovery is
proportional. The party claiming it would suffer an undue
burden or expense is typically in the best position to
explain why, while the party claiming the information sought
is important to resolve the issues in the case should be able
“to explain the ways in which the underlying
information bears on the issues as that party understands
them.” Id. advisory committee comments to 2015
amendment. “The court's responsibility, using all
the information provided by the parties, is to consider these
and all the other factors in reaching a case-specific
determination of the appropriate scope of discovery.”
November 1, 2017, Plaintiff Gremillion first requested
Grayco's ICOM system records regarding tasks performed by
Plaintiffs and records reflect the time during which tasks
were performed by Plaintiffs in the class period. After two
extensions of time to respond, Plaintiff filed a motion to
compel on February 20, 2018, and Grayco responded that it did
not object to producing the ICOM records. In response to the
present Motion to Compel, Grayco confirms that it has no
opposition to producing the ICOM records. However, it reports
that the records are voluminous and require a very time
intensive process to obtain. The declaration of Alicia Thomas
explains that she must pull information for each individual
separately, one day at a time. (Rec. Doc. 195-1). Once she is
able to pull up the daily route for a technician for a
specific day, she must transfer the route information into an
excel spreadsheet, then go back to the ICOM system and change
the “View” setting for that date to a more
detailed recording of that route. In that detailed view, she
combs through the route information to find the start and end
time for each job, and then she transfers that information
into the spreadsheet. As of May 7, 2018, she had completed
pulling records for 24 of the 54 individuals requested. She
estimated she would need an additional 45 days to pull the
the burden involved in pulling the records, the Court finds
45 days a reasonable time period to complete production.
Accordingly, Grayco shall complete production of the ICOM
system records by June 21, 2018.
Plaintiffs' Fourth ...