Attorney Kevin J. Dolley represents employees nationwide in unpaid minimum wage and overtime claims under the federal FLSA and state wage and hour law. Mr. Dolley is available to review a claim at (314)645-4100 or by email at email@example.com. Below is a recent claim under the FLSA of interest that was handled by another law firm.
Phoenix Arizona Taxicab Drivers FLSA Claims
Bogor v. American Pony Express, Inc., 2010 WL 1962465 (U.S. D. AZ May 17, 2010) was filed under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Arizona state law for unpaid wages in the United States District Court for Arizona, located in Phoenix, Arizona. Plaintiff rented a taxicab from American Pony Express; APE entered into Taxi Cab Lease Agreements with drivers such as Plaintiff who serviced the airport APE paid Plaintiff and other Airport Drivers no wages. Instead, Plaintiff kept all fares he earned and paid APE $650 a week to rent APE's taxis. Plaintiffs alleged that they were in fact employees of the Defendant.
Phoenix Overtime Law
The Phoenix federal court noted that the FLSA does not define the term "similarly situated," and the Ninth Circuit, like many circuits, has not construed it. The court pointed out that other courts have found different approaches to analyzing conditional certification under the FLSA. The majority of courts have adopted the two-tiered approach.
FLSA Initial Class Certification
In the early stage of an FLSA collective action, or the "notice stage," the court makes the "similarly situated" decision based on the pleadings and any declarations that have been submitted with the motion for conditional certification. Because the Court does not have much evidence at this stage, the Court uses a fairly lenient standard. The second stage, requires a stricter standard of proof based upon more available information, which makes a factual determination possible.
Federal courts review several factors in determining whether to grant conditional certification, including: (1) the disparate factual and employment settings of the individual plaintiffs; (2) the various defenses available to defendant that appear to be individual to each plaintiff; and (3) fairness and procedural considerations.
FLSA Class Certification Granted by Phoenix Federal Court
The federal district court in Phoenix, Arizona found the drivers to be similar situated based on the evidence presented. The Airport Drivers had to respond immediately to a request for a cab at the airport, which caused them to lose fares in other areas; Airport Drivers had to meet certain dress and hygiene requirements; Airport Drivers could not build their own clientele by advertising personal taxi services; APE assigned the Airport Drivers their taxis, which they had to share with another driver, and APE automatically deducted the cost of any damages to a cab from their deposits.
Plaintiff submitted Declarations to the court from the opt-in plaintiffs who indicated that they are similarly situated to Plaintiff because they all had to adhere to the same APE rules and policies and were similarly denied wages as a result. As a result of the evidence presented, the court granted conditional certification.