The Middle District of Florida recently confirmed the low threshold required for conditional certification of putative collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).   In Gonzalez v. TZ Ins. Solutions, LLC, Case No. 13-2098, 2014 WL 1248154 (M.D. Fla. March 26, 2014) (Gonzalez v TZ Ins) the plaintiff worked hourly for TZ Insurance as a sales specialist.  The plaintiff filed…

In Paylor v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 6:11-cv-00059-PCF-TBS (11th Cir. April 8, 2014), the Eleventh Circuit enforced a severance agreement that waived an employee’s rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) for past conduct of the employer.  The plaintiff, Blanche Paylor, worked for Hartford as a disability analyst.  Between January 2008 and September 2009, she used 390 hours of…

In Lemy v. Direct General Finance Co., 2014 WL 903371 (11th Cir. March 10, 2014) (Lemy v. Direct General Finance Co), the plaintiff filed a class action complaint in Florida state court alleging that the insurance company defendants acted in concert to sell a worthless insurance product to a class of plaintiffs in violation of the Florida Insurance Code.  The…

An illegal gambling establishment in Alabama faced additional legal woes when it was sued by a class of former employees for allegedly violating the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (“WARN Act”) when it laid off its employees without giving them any formal notice. Sides v. Macon County Greyhound Park, Inc., 725 F.3d 1276 (11th Cir. 2013).  Macon County Greyhound Park,…

In Davenport v. Elite Model Management Corp., No. 1:13-cv-01061-AJN (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 9, 2014) (Davenport v Elite-1) (Davenport v Elite-2), the court granted preliminary approval to a $450,000 settlement between Elite Model Management (“Elite”) and a group of unpaid interns who claimed the company intentionally misclassified employees as interns to avoid paying them wages and overtime. Dajia Davenport, who worked for…

At Graceland Memorial Park South Cemetery, at least three people could not locate their loved ones’ gravesites without the cemetery staff “probing” into burial sites.  Alderwoods Group, Inc. v. Garcia, 119 So. 3d 497 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013) (Alderwoods v. Garcia).  The three plaintiffs sought to certify a class defined by “all persons with family members buried before 1994 in…

When Robert Toback filed a class action against nutrition store, GNC, alleging that the company’s Vitapak supplement did not perform as advertised, he focused his allegations on only glucosamine and chondroitin - two of the many ingredients of the product.  Toback v. GNC Holdings, Inc., 2013 WL 5206103 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 2013) (Toback v. GNC).  In his claim under the…

Employers and attorneys alike are carefully monitoring the rising tide of class action litigation related to unpaid internships. Recently, former unpaid interns have filed suit against Fox Searchlight Pictures, producers of “The Charlie Rose Show,” [1] and Hearst Corporation, [2] which publishes the chic woman’s fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar.  The details of the cases very, but each Plaintiff purports to…

One of the unique issues in class action litigation is determining when, if ever, an absent class member becomes a party.  In Day v. Persels & Associates, LLC, 729 F.3d 1309 (11th Cir. 2013), (Day v Persels) Miranda Day sued several debt management companies on behalf of herself and 125,000 consumers.  Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1), Day, the putative…

Although plaintiffs’ counsel is naturally expected to communicate with putative class members, sometimes such communication is improper.  In A.R. ex rel. Root v. Dudek, 2013 WL 5278668 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 19, 2013), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida determined that Plaintiffs’ counsel’s and other representatives’ e-mails to putative class members  were not the type of …

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