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Ivanovs v. Bayada Home Health Care, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 19, 2019

SONYA IVANOVS and KATIE HOFFMAN, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHER SIMILARLY SITUATED EMPLOYEES, Plaintiffs,
v.
BAYADA HOME HEALTH CARE, INC., Defendant.

          MICHAEL JOHN PALITZ SHAVITZ LAW GROUP, P.A. GREGG I. SHAVITZ (ADMITTED PRO HAC VICE) ALAN L. QUILES (ADMITTED PRO HAC VICE) SHAVITZ LAW GROUP, P.A On behalf of Plaintiffs

          MICHAEL D. HOMANS HOMANS PECK LLC On behalf of Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         WHEREAS, Plaintiffs Sonya Ivanovs and Katie Hoffman, on behalf of themselves and all those similarly situated, allege that Defendant, BAYADA Home Health Care, Inc., unlawfully classifies all of its Client Service Managers (“CSMs”) nationwide as exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. (“FLSA”); and

         WHEREAS, the Court granted the conditional certification of Plaintiffs' two nationwide sub-classes: Sub-class 1 is BAYADA Home Health CSMs who worked for BAYADA at any location nationwide during the three years prior to the Court's order allowing notice; and sub-class 2 is the BAYADA Home Care CSMs who worked for BAYADA at any location nationwide during the three years prior to the Court's order allowing notice (Docket No. 56); and

         WHEREAS, the conditional certification conferred onto Plaintiffs the right to distribute a notice of this putative collective action to all potential opt-in plaintiffs, and Defendant was obligated to participate in this process; and

         WHEREAS, to the end, the Court directed the parties to meet and confer on a form of notice, the method of dissemination of that notice, and the database of employees to which the notice will be distributed; and

         WHEREAS, the Court directed the parties to provide the Court with a status update within 30 days, and although the Court strongly encouraged the parties to come to an agreement on those issues, the Court instructed that the parties may inform the Court via letter filed on the docket of any unresolved disputes; and

         WHEREAS, after conferring, the parties have notified that Court that nine issues remain unresolved and require the Court's intervention; and

         WHEREAS, the Court notes that “[d]istrict courts have the authority to supervise the notification process, including how much time plaintiffs are given to notify class members, how class members are to be notified, and what contact information plaintiffs are afforded, ” Steinberg v. TD Bank, N.A., 2012 WL 2500331 at *6 (D.N.J. 2012) (citing Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. v. Sperling, 493 U.S. 165, 170 (1989) (“By monitoring preparation and distribution of the notice, a court can ensure that it is timely, accurate, and informative.”); Ritzer v. UBS Financial Services, Inc., 2008 WL 4372784, at *4 (D.N.J. 2008) (stating that “courts possess broad discretion to provide court-facilitated notice, ” authorizing the specific wording of an entire notice provision, and determining an appropriate means of notice)); and

         WHEREAS, the Court has considered the parties' positions on each of the nine disputed issues regarding the Notice, Consent Form, and Reminder Postcard, and finds the following:

         1. Issue 1: Title Reference to Unpaid Overtime

         NOTICE OF LAWSUIT ON BEHALF OF BAYADA HOME HEALTH CLIENT SERVICE MANAGERS

         2. Issue 2: Prominently Advising Collective That the ...


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