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Karen Fenn, On Behalf of Herself and Those v. Hewlett-Packard Company

May 17, 2012

KAREN FENN, ON BEHALF OF HERSELF AND THOSE SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

The Court has before it plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Conditional Certification of an FLSA Collective Action (Dkt. No. 52). Having reviewed the briefing submitted by the parties, the Court has determined oral argument is unnecessary. For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant the motion in part, and deny it in part. More specifically, the Court will authorize plaintiff to notify certain HP employees of this action, but will narrow the proposed class period.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Karen Fenn alleges that she and other past and present customer service representatives at Hewlett-Packard (HP) were not paid for all hours worked beyond the forty hours per week. In a nutshell, Fenn complains that HP required customer service representatives to arrive early and leave late so they could load and shut down computer applications.

Fenn originally sought to certify a nationwide class of HP customer service representatives. The Court denied that motion without prejudice, however, and granted HP's request to conduct limited discovery. At the conclusion of this discovery, plaintiff renewed her motion to certify, although she significantly limited the proposed class. Fenn now seeks to certify a class limited to customer service representatives who worked in HP's Boise call center during the last three years.

ANALYSIS

The Court begins by correcting a misconception. HP believes the Court should construe Fenn's renewed motion as a motion for reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59. See Opp., Dkt. 53, at 8. The Court, however, had no intention of forcing Fenn into the realm of a Rule 59 motion when it denied her first certification motion without prejudice. The standards applicable to the first motion apply here.

1. The Standard

The litigants are familiar with the standard governing FLSA certification motions, which the Court articulated in an earlier order. See Dec. 12, 2011 Order, Dkt. 42, at 1-3. The Court will not restate that entire standard here, although it bears repeating that the Court's job at this point is simply to decide whether the potential class should be given notice of the action. Justifying such a notice is relatively easy for plaintiff. She merely has to show "some identifiable factual or legal nexus" that "binds together the various claims of the class members in a way that hearing the claims together promotes judicial efficiency and comports with the broad remedial policies underlying the FLSA." Wertheim v. Arizona, 1993 WL 603552, at *1 (D. Ariz. Sept. 30, 1993).

The Court will also bear in mind the following, more specific guideposts in deciding this motion:

(1) A plaintiff need not submit a large number of declarations or affidavits to make the requisite factual showing. A handful of declarations may suffice.

(2) The fact that a defendant submits competing declarations will not as a general rule preclude conditional certification.

(3) The fact that other potential class members have not affirmatively stated a desire to opt in does not ...


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