United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.
a motion for Conditional Class Certification. (ECF No. 15).
Named Plaintiff and former J & D Transportation's
employee, Bobby Thomas, seeks to bring this action as a
collective action under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA).
Plaintiff now requests that this Court conditionally certify
the class and authorize Court-supervised notice to
similarly-situated employees. Defendant J&D
Transportation (hereinafter J&D) is an entity operating a
medical transportation company. (Complaint, ECF No. 1,
2013 to around May 2014, Thomas worked for Defendant J&D
as a driver, providing prearranged transportation to medical
patients. (Id. ¶27-28). Plaintiff drove a
vehicle provided by Defendant. (Def. SOF ¶3). Defendant
paid Thomas an hourly wage of $9.00 per hour during his
employment. (Compl.¶30). Thomas drove vehicles that
transported less than nine passengers, including the driver,
and weighted less than 10, 000 pounds. (Id.
¶37). He was not a supervisor. (Id. ¶35).
Accordingly, Plaintiff was an exempt employee within the
meaning of the FLSA.
argues that the above-mentioned characteristic would apply to
all similarly situated individuals in the proposed class.
Generally, Plaintiff alleges that there are many similarly
situated individuals, with substantially similar job duties,
that have substantially similar pay provisions, and are all
subject to Defendants' unlawful policies and practices.
filed a Complaint against Defendant on April 10, 2017,
alleging the following Counts: Count I, failure to pay
overtime compensation in violation of the FLSA; Count II,
failure to pay minimum wage in violation of the FLSA; and
Count III, unlawful withholding of wages in violation of New
Jersey Wage Laws. Plaintiff filed its motion to certify the
proposed class on a conditional basis on March 23, 2018.
Defendant opposed the motion.
Failure to pay overtime wage
avers that he worked more than 40 hours per workweek; and
that Defendant failed to pay additional compensation for
overtime hours worked for him and for the proposed class.
(Id. ¶48). Specifically, Defendant should have
paid at least the rate of 1.5 times the regular rate for each
hour that they worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.
Failure to pay minimum Wage and Unlawful withholding of
alleges that each workday, Defendant automatically deducted
30 minutes for a meal break from his wages. (Id.
¶52). However, Plaintiff argues that he was rarely, if
ever, able to take a 30-minure uninterrupted meal break.
(Id. ¶53). Defendant was allegedly aware of
this. (Id. ¶54). Defendant also deducted all
time that Plaintiff spent driving without a customer
occupying the vehicle (i.e. time spent driving to pick up the
next customer after completing a prior assignment) from his
wages. (Id. ¶55). Plaintiff alleges that
unlawful withholding of wages resulted in Defendant's
failure to pay Plaintiff a minimum of $7.25 per hour for all
hours worked during a workweek. (Id. ¶56).
Proposed Class and Disputed facts
submits that 53 Class Members "are/were subjected to
the same wage policies as Plaintiff." (PI. Br. Ex G. no.
4 (Interrogatories), ECF 15-11). Defendant argues that the
drivers were provided schedules ahead of time, controlled
their own time clock and were clearly advised to report all
hours worked. (Def. SOF ¶8).
to Plaintiff, the driver manifest (attached as exhibit E to
his motion) provides the following information for each trip
assignment: 1) the client's name, 2) the client's
address, 3) the pick-up time, 4) the drop-off time, and 5)
the address of the client's destination. This manifest
was distributed to Plaintiff and the proposed class members
the day before each workday (except Monday) typically after
5:00 p.m. (see Ex. B to PI. Br.) Plaintiff points out that
the driver manifests did, and do not, inform Plaintiff and
the proposed class members that they would be provided with
non-compensable break during the workday. (Ex. E to PL Br.)
Defendant's position that the driver manifests properly
advised Plaintiff and putative class members when they would
have breaks in their schedule which could be planned for.
(Def. SOF ¶IO). Further, Defendant determined and still
determines Plaintiffs and proposed class members work hours
after the workday is complete by examining the time entries
recorded on the driver manifests submitted by Plaintiff and
the proposed class members. (See PI. Ex. D). According to
Plaintiff, if there was a period of time between a drop-off
and pick time entered on the driver manifest that Defendant
determined was sufficiently long enough, Defendant determined
that the period of time was a non-compensable break. If
multiple periods of time during the same workday met
Defendant's requirement to be considered non-compensable
breaks, then Defendant would deduct each period as a non-
compensable break. (PI. SOF, ECF No. 15, 15-16).
explained this procedure as follows: "Defendant examined
the Plaintiffs work hours after the workday was complete for
the purpose of adding additional time where necessary and
verifying the number of hours worked. No time was ...