Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment Against Individual Defendant Imposing “Employer” Liability on Company Owner

In Landaverde v. Dave Murray Construction & Design, Inc., the Court granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs imposing individual liability on the owner of the defendant company under the FLSA. See 15-CV-5379 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 11, 2017). The Court granted liability as against the individual owner of the company and provided a helpful summary of the current state of the law. Continue Reading

Court Denies Motion for Summary Judgment Directed at Overtime Claims Based Upon “Absurd” Gap-Time Argument

In Williams v. The Bethel Springvale Nursing Home, the Court denied a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of overtime claims under the FLSA and denied a contemporaneous motion for decertification of a collective. See 14-CIV-9383 (NSR) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 12, 2017). Continue Reading

Court Denies Motion for Conditional Certification Based Upon Deficient Allegations, Reminding Employers of the Value of Testing the Sufficiency of Allegations

In Huertero-Morales v. Raguboy Corp., the Southern District denied a motion for conditional certification of a collective action consisting of various restaurant workers paid on an hourly basis. See No. 17-CIV-2429 (JCF) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 12, 2017). The plaintiff alleged that he and other workers were required to work off-the-clock and that they participated in an invalid “tip pool” because a manager received a portion of the tips. The Court found that the plaintiff’s motion was plagued by “general and conclusory allegations.” Continue Reading

Court Confirms Report & Recommendation Decertifying FLSA Collective of Assistant Managers

In McEarchen v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., the Hon. Roslynn Mauskopf confirmed a report and recommendation from the Hon. James Orenstein decertifying a conditionally certified FLSA collective of Assistant Managers who claimed that they had been misclassified as exempt. See 13-CV-3569 (RRM) (JO) (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 6, 2017). The plaintiffs did not file any objections to the Magistrate Judge’s ruling in exchange for an agreement from Urban Outfitters to consent to a 60-day tolling period for the claims of the dismissed opt-in plaintiffs. Continue Reading

Court Highlights The Expansive Definition Of “Employer” Under The FLSA In Imposing Individual Liability On Restaurant Owner

In Pineda v. Frisolino, Inc. and Peter Migliorini, the Court issued an opinion and order setting forth its conclusions of law following a four-day bench trial into claims of unpaid wages under the FLSA and NYLL. See 15-CIV-3774 (GBD) (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 29, 2017). Of particular note was the Court’s determination that the restaurant’s owner qualified as an “employer” under the FLSA and was thus jointly and severally responsible for the damages awarded to the plaintiffs. Continue Reading

Southern District Declines to Consider Declarations Proffered by Employer in Granting Rule 23 Class Certification Of NYLL Claims

In Benavides v. Serenity Spa NY, Inc., the Court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification of their minimum wage and overtime claims under the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). See No. 15-CV-9189 (JLC) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 1, 2017). In so doing, the Court declined to consider the declarations of five employees submitted by the employer in opposition to the motion. The Court’s ruling highlights the need for employers to exercise care in developing an evidentiary record to oppose class certification. Continue Reading

Court Refuses To Approve Unopposed Motion Seeking Preliminary Approval Of Settlement of FLSA And NYLL Claims Based Upon Overbroad Release Provision

In Sandoval v. Philippe North American Restaurants, LLC, the Southern District refused to grant preliminary approval to an unopposed settlement seeking to resolve FLSA and NYLL claims directed at allegedly unpaid wages, illegal retained tips, and “spread of hours” pay. See 16-CV-0615 (VSB) (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 31, 2017). The Court based its decision on what it determined to be an overbroad release contained in the settlement agreement. Continue Reading

Court Approves $342,500 Settlement On Behalf of 82 Tipped Food Service Workers

In Surdu v. Madison Global, LLC, the Court approved a $342,500 settlement on behalf of approximately 82 current and former employees of Nello Restaurant, who had worked as servers, bussers, runners and bartenders. See No. 15-CIV-6567 (HBP) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 1, 2017). The plaintiffs alleged violations of the FLSA and NYLL arising from allegedly unpaid minimum wages, misappropriated gratuities, uniform purchase and maintenance costs, and inaccurate wage statements. Continue Reading

Court Grants Motion for Conditional Certification Of An FLSA Collective Based Upon Single Affidavit That Was Contradicted By Deposition Testimony

In Galicia v. 34th Street Coffee Shop, Inc., the Court conditionally certified a collective FLSA action on behalf of restaurant workers contending that they were not paid minimum wages and overtime. See No. 16-CIV-1170 (RWS) (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 30, 2017). The decision highlights the almost non-existent burden a plaintiff faces on such a motion. Continue Reading

Court Refuses to Approve FLSA Settlement, Reminding Employers About Overreaching Agreements and the Scrutiny that will be Applied in Seeking Approval

In Flores v. Hill Country Chicken NY, LLC, the Court refused to approve a settlement jointly sought by the Defendant and Plaintiffs. See No. 16-CIV-2916 (AT) (HBP) (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 11, 2017). The Court refused to approve the settlement on various grounds. Continue Reading

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