United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division
ORDER GRANTING CONDITIONAL CERTIFICATION OF
B. LIBBY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a collective action brought pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.
Pending is Plaintiff's Opposed Motion For Certification
of Collective Action and Court-Authorized Notice. (D.E. 19).
Having considered the parties' briefing, arguments, the
applicable legal authorities, and all matters of record,
Plaintiffs' Opposed Motion for Certification is
GRANTED as modified with a more narrowly
tailored putative class as set forth below. The notice
procedures are set forth at the end of this order pursuant to
the parties agreed submissions.
Court has federal question jurisdiction over this FLSA action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. This case has been
referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge
for case management pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636. (D.E.
21). The undersigned has authority to rule on this matter as
it is non-dispositive. See Patton v. Thompson Corp.,
364 F.Supp.2d 263, 265-66 (E.D.N.Y. 2005); Ruggles v.
WellPoint, Inc., 591 F.Supp.2d 150, 156 (N.D.N.Y. 2008);
Headrick v. Tucker Energy Serv., Inc., No.
SA-16-CA-749-OLG, 2017 WL 2999976, at *1-4 (W.D. Tex. Mar.
Roland Salinas, a resident of Kingsville, Texas, was an
employee of Defendant Wood Group PSN Commissioning Services,
Inc. (“Wood Group”) for various periods between 2008
and 2016. (D.E. 19-1 & 20-3). Plaintiff alleges he and
potential class members were paid “at the same hourly
rate for all hours worked, including those in excess of 40 in
a workweek.” (D.E. 1, p. 1). He seeks to bring a
collective action on behalf of all hourly employees of Wood
Group who were paid “straight time for overtime”
during the past three years. (D.E. 1, p. 2). Plaintiff
alleges Wood Group did not pay overtime as required by the
FLSA. (D.E. 1, p. 1). Wood Group employs around 55, 000
people in over 60 countries around the world and is in the
business of designing, modifying, constructing and operating
industrial facilities. See www.woodgroup.com. Wood
Group maintains its method of compensating Mr. Salinas and
others in the proposed class was lawful.
29, 2017, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit alleging that Wood
Group as his employer violated sections of the Fair Labor
Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.
(“FLSA”). (D.E. 1). Plaintiff alleges he worked
as an Instrument Commissioning Coordinator and he was paid by
the hour normally working more than 40 hours a week. However,
Plaintiff alleges he was not paid time and a half for
overtime as required by the FLSA. (D.E. 1, p. 3). Plaintiff
alleges Wood Group employs other similarly situated employees
who are also paid in a similar manner in violation of the
17, 2017 Wood Group filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses.
(D.E. 6). On September 25, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their
Opposed Motion for Conditional Certification Court-Authorized
Notice. (D.E 19). Plaintiff seeks conditional certification
of a collective action consisting of the following putative
All personnel employed by Wood Group during the past
three (3) years who were paid the same hourly rate for all
hours worked (including hours in excess of 40 hours in a
single workweek) and no overtime compensation. (D.E.
19, p. 4).
maintains conditional certification is appropriate because
additional individuals who were employed by Wood Group
suffered injury as a result of Wood Group's violations of
the FLSA. These Potential Class Members are “similarly
situated” to Plaintiffs because they (1) worked as
hourly employees for Wood Group during the operative time
period; (2) received straight time for overtime; and (3) were
all required or permitted to work overtime without receiving
compensation at the legal rate of pay. (D.E. 7, p. 7).
Plaintiff seeks to proceed in this FLSA action collectively
with other similarly situated former employees of Wood Group.
Plaintiff moves the Court to: (1) conditionally certify this
action for purposes of notice and discovery; (2) order that a
judicially approved notice be sent to all Putative Class
Members by mail and email; (3) approve the form and content
of Plaintiff's proposed judicial notice and reminder
notice; (4) order Wood Group to produce to Plaintiff's
Counsel the last known name, address, phone number, email
address and dates of employment for each of the Putative
Class Members in a usable electronic format; (5) authorize a
sixty (60) day notice period for the Putative Class Members
to join this case; (6) authorize Plaintiff's counsel to
send by mail and email a second copy of the Notice/Consent to
Putative Class Members; and (7) authorize Plaintiff's
counsel to follow up with the Putative Class Members whose
Notice Packet was returned as undeliverable with a call to
ensure receipt of the Notice. (D.E. 19, p. 23).
Group opposes conditional certification and filed its brief
in opposition to Plaintiff's motion (D.E. 20) on October
25, 2017. Wood Group maintains conditional certification
should be denied because (1) the scope of the proposed class
is overly broad; (2) Plaintiff is not a proper class
representative because he is not similarly situated to
potential class members with respect to job duties; (3)
Plaintiff is not a proper class representative because he has
not provided any evidence to support that a nationwide policy
exists with respect to paying exempt employees
“straight time” overtime; (4) Plaintiff is not
similarly situated with other potential class members because
individualized issues predominate and (5) Plaintiff has not
shown there are other eligible members of the proposed class
who are interested in joining this action. (D.E. 20, p.
12-25). Wood Group further maintains that if conditional
certification is granted, the scope of the class should be
narrowed. (D.E. 20, p. 27). Additionally, Wood Group objects
to certain aspects of Plaintiff's proposed notice forms
and procedure. (D.E. 20, p. 24).
Legal Standard for ...