EMPLOYMENT CLASS & COLLECTIVE ACTIONS
EQUAL PAY ACT
FALSE CLAIMS ACT -
Employment Class and Collective Actions
Class, collective, and multiparty litigation allows employees to not only resolve a dispute on behalf of themselves, but on behalf of individuals who are similarly situated and subject to the same unlawful policy or practice. Sam J. Smith, the managing partner of Burr & Smith has over 25 years of experience in class, collective and multiparty litigation. He has obtained a number of favorable results including Haynes v. Shoney's, Inc., No. 89-30093-RV (N.D. Fla. 1993), a race discrimination class action filed in Pensacola, Florida. The Shoney's class action plaintiffs obtained a recovery of $132.5 million, one of the largest monetary recoveries ever awarded in a Title VII case as of that date. Burr & Smith also has significant experience litigating wage and hour class and collective actions and has recovered millions of dollars for workers denied wages. Please take the opportunity to review our representative cases.
Servers, bartenders, and other tipped employees
Deliz v. Miller’s Ale House, Inc.: Class action on behalf of servers and bartenders who worked at Miller’s Ale House restaurants in Florida who alleged they were not permitted to retain all of their tips and were required to share tips with employees called expeditors whose inclusion in the tip pool was alleged to be in violation of Article X, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution. Plaintiffs obtained a resolution of the case for $7.5 million.
Prior v. W and O, Inc. (Rustic Inn): Class action on behalf of servers alleging they were not permitted to retain all their tips and were required to share tips with employees called “pantry workers” who are not customarily tipped employees, in violation of Article X, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution. Successful resolutions of the claims were obtained with a settlement of $647,000.00 on behalf of the class.
Customer service or account representatives
Hickman v. Applied Card Systems: Collective action on behalf of individuals employed with Applied Card Systems, Inc. in its Boca Raton, Florida facility as customer service representatives for alleged failure to pay overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Conditional certification of the class was granted and the case resolved soon thereafter.
Angione v. PSS Worldwide Medical: Collective action for unpaid minimum and overtime pay on behalf of drivers, inventory managers, purchasers, operations leaders, trainees and accounts receivable representatives who worked for the nationwide medical supply company.
Technical support workers
Hayes v. Document Storage Systems, Inc.: Collective action on behalf of Plaintiffs and other Support Specialists who were employed by Document Storage Systems, Inc. alleging they were improperly classified as exempt employees, and were denied overtime compensation in violation of federal law (the Fair Labor Standards Act). On September 22, 2015, the Court granted that notice of the lawsuit be mailed and emailed to putative class members who include Support Specialists, Technical Support Specialists, and Application Support Specialists who worked for DSS since September 21, 2012.
Polycarpe v. E & S Landscaping Services, Inc.: Litigating Fair Labor Standards Act claims for unpaid overtime and retaliation against E & S Landscaping Services. The issue of enterprise coverage was contested in this matter and was favorably resolved in the plaintiffs’ favor in Polycarpe v. E & S Landscaping Service, Inc., 616 F.3d 1217 (11th Cir. 2010). Burr & Smith represented the Plaintiffs as appellate counsel. In Polycarpe, the Eleventh Circuit clarified the factors by which to determine whether an employee is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act under the enterprise coverage prong of the FLSA. As the Eleventh Circuit explained that, in the context of enterprise coverage, “[w]hether an item counts as ‘materials’ . . . will depend on two things: 1) whether, in the context of its use, the item fits within the ordinary definition of ‘materials’ under the FLSA [i.e., the item is a tool or other article necessary for doing or making something] and 2) whether the item is being used commercially in the employer’s business [i.e. the item must have a significant connection with the employer’s commercial activity].” 616 F.3d at 1226-26.
Retail sales associates and assistant managers
Marshall v. Advanced Comfort, Inc. and Dormia, Inc.: Collective action for unpaid overtime. Plaintiffs alleged retail sales employees were misclassified as exempt and denied overtime compensation. Plaintiffs obtained a favorable result on behalf of retail sales associates who sold mattresses.
Applegate-Walton v. Olan Mills: Collective and class action on behalf of Studio Photographers for alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act including failure to pay overtime compensation for work performed prior to the start of their shift, during scheduled lunch periods, and after the end of their shift. Plaintiffs obtained a settlement of $3 million on behalf of the class.
Saunders v. Ace Mortgage Funding; Thorpe v. Ace Mortgage Funding, Inc.: Plaintiffs successfully litigated a multi-state FLSA collective action claim on behalf of loan officers and loan processing officers for alleged minimum wage and overtime violation resolving the case for almost $4 million.
Cable installers and technicians
Thomas v. Broadband Interactive, Inc.: Plaintiffs brought a collective action for unpaid overtime and minimum wages for their work as cable installers. Plaintiffs alleged they were misclassified as independent contractors and were instead employees of the company that must be paid overtime compensation and minimum wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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