United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
WHITE GLOVE STAFFING, INC., CAROLYN CLAY, LINDEY DANCEY, LEA REED, and KAMARIO SIMPSON, Individually, and on Behalf of a Class of Similarly Situated Individuals, Plaintiffs,
METHODIST HOSPITALS OF DALLAS, and DALLAS METHODIST HOSPITALS FOUNDATION, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KINKEADE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification
and Notice to Potential Plaintiffs (Doc. No. 42). After
carefully considering the motion, relevant documents, and
applicable law, the Court DENIES
Plaintiffs' motion because the proposed class is too
speculative to be clearly ascertainable.
White Glove Staffing, Inc. (“White Glove”), a
staffing agency, entered contract negotiations to provide for
Defendants' staffing needs. During these initial
negotiations, Defendants Methodist Hospitals of Dallas and
Dallas Methodist Hospitals Foundation (collectively
“Methodist”) allegedly informed White Glove that
the head chef preferred Hispanic employees. Before entering a
contract, Methodist asked White Glove to provide Methodist
with a prep cook. White Glove sent Plaintiff Carolyn Clay
(“Clay”). Clay is African American. Allegedly,
Clay worked for Methodist for only a few days before
Methodist told White Glove that Clay was not working out and
asked White Glove to send someone else. The next day, White
Glove sent Clay back to Methodist because White Glove could
not find another prep cook on short notice. Methodist
allegedly asked Clay to leave. Methodist contacted White
Glove and allegedly stated the head chef only wanted Hispanic
employees. Later that day, Methodist ended contract
negotiations and informed White Glove that it would not enter
a staffing contract with White Glove.
Glove and Clay filed suit against Methodist for employment
discrimination and retaliation. Plaintiffs Lindey Dancey, Lea
Reed, and Kamario Simpson joined the suit as African American
individuals White Glove allegedly would have supplied to work
for Methodist had Methodist entered the staffing contract.
Plaintiffs now seek class certification to include 40 to 75
other individuals who were allegedly discriminated against.
Motion Is Timely
response, Methodist argues Plaintiffs' motion for class
certification is untimely under Local Civil Rule 23.2, which
requires a plaintiff to move for certification within 90 days
of filing its class action complaint or as ordered by the
court. Plaintiffs argue they filed the motion after the
90-day deadline because some discovery needed to be completed
to support the motion for class certification. Because some
discovery was needed, the Court holds the motion for class
certification is timely.
establishing the requirements under Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure Rule 23 to certify a class, the plaintiff must show
it has met Rule 23's implicit ascertainability
requirement. Frey v. First Nat'l Bank Southwest,
602 Fed. App'x 164, 168 (5th Cir. 2015). “[I]n
order to maintain a class action, the class sought to be
represented must be adequately defined and clearly
ascertainable.” Id. A proposed class's
definability and ascertainability are consequently implied
prerequisites to Rule 23's requirements for class
certification. John v. Nat'l Sec. Fire & Cas.
Co., 501 F.3d 443, 445 (5th Cir. 2007) Once the party
seeking certification establishes that a putative class is
definable and ascertainable, that party must demonstrate that
the putative class meets all four requirements of Rule 23(a)
and at least one of the three requirements of Rule 23(b).
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 345
bear the burden of showing that class certification is
appropriate. Unger v. Amedisys, Inc., 401 F.3d 316,
320 (5th Cir. 2005). Class certification is at the discretion
of the court, which has inherent power to manage and control
pending litigation. Fener v. Operating Eng'r Const.
Indus. & Miscellaneous Pension Fund (Local 66), 579
F.3d 401, 406 (5th Cir. 2009). Although a court does not
reach the merits of the case in evaluating whether class
treatment is appropriate, it may look past the pleadings to
understand the claims, defenses, relevant facts, and
applicable substantive law to make a meaningful decision on
class certification. Unger, 401 F.3d 316 at 321.
Definability and Ascertainability
Court must determine that membership in a proposed class is
ascertainable by objective criteria before it reaches the
Rule 23 class certification analysis. Frey v. First
Nat'l Bank Southwest, Civ. Action No. 3:11-CV-3093,
2013 WL 11309592, at *5 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 20, 2013) (Godbey,
J.) aff'd, 602 Fed. App'x 164, 168-69 (5th
Cir. 2015). Plaintiffs define the proposed class as
“all employees of White Glove Staffing who would have
been supplied to Defendants to be banquet servers, prep
cooks, dishwashers, and set-up crews.” Plaintiffs argue
this proposed class is readily ascertainable from ...