United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
TERRANCE BASS, BARRY BOYD, ELIZABETH LOPEZ, and JOSEPH SCOTT, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs,
THE CITY OF DALLAS and JOHN DOES 1-5, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
GREN SCHOLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Conditional
Certification [ECF No. 64]. For the following reasons, the
Court grants in part and denies in part the Motion, I.
to Special Order 3-249, this case was transferred from the
docket of Judge Sam R, Cummings to the docket of this Court
on March 21, 2018.
action arises out of alleged violations of the Fair Labor
Standards Act ("FLSA") and Title Two of the Texas
Labor Code ("TLC"). Plaintiffs were employees of
the City of Dallas ("Defendant"). Compl. ¶ 29,
Terrance Bass, Barry Boyd, Elizabeth Lopez, and Joseph Scott
(collectively, "Named Plaintiffs") sue on behalf of
employees working "in different positions and for a
variety of different departments." Id. ¶
30. The Named Plaintiffs all worked in the Neighborhood Code
Division in the Code Compliance Department. Def.'s Resp.
20; see also Compl. ¶¶ 63, 78, 93, 107.
allegedly worked more than 40 hours per week. Compl. ¶
31. They claim that rather than compensating them with an
overtime premium, Defendant required them to take "comp
time." Id. ¶ 32. This purported
'"comp time' scheme" required all
Plaintiffs to take one hour off the second week of their
biweekly pay period for every hour they worked in excess of
40 during the first week of the pay period. Id.
¶ 33. For example, if a Plaintiff worked 45 hours the
first week of the pay period, he or she allegedly was
required to work no more than 35 hours during the second week
of the pay period. Id. Further, Plaintiffs allegedly
were required to use their comp time in the same pay period
in which it accrued. Id. ¶ 35.
employees of Defendant's code compliance department
("CCEs") were assigned to different districts
throughout the City of Dallas. Id. ¶ 38;
see also Pis.' Mot. for Conditional
Certification ("Pis.' Mot.") 2 (defining
"CCEs"). CCEs were given one hour per workday for a
meal break. Compl. ¶ 40. Defendant allegedly did not pay
CCEs for their meal break periods. Id. ¶ 43.
CCEs recorded their hours by writing and initialing the time
they began and ended their shifts on a sign in/sign out
sheet. Id. ¶ 41. CCEs were paid every two weeks
and were compensated on an hourly basis. Id.
allege that Defendant issued cellphones to CCEs and required
that CCEs remain accessible via cellphone throughout the
workday. Id. ¶¶ 48-49. According to
Plaintiffs, Defendant required that CCEs remain accessible
via cellphone during meal break periods, Id. ¶
50, CCEs allegedly answered phone calls and had work-related
discussions lasting between five to forty-five minutes per
meal break period. Id. ¶ 51. Plaintiffs allege
that CCEs were not paid for working during their meal break
periods. Id. ¶¶ 53-54.
also allege that Defendant issued CCEs laptops and required
CCEs to respond to work-related emails and finish their
caseload. Id. ¶¶ 55-56. To do so, CCEs
claim they worked from home. Id. ¶ 57,
Plaintiffs contend that Defendant knew CCEs worked from home
because each email had a time stamp indicating when it was
sent, and each code violation case had a time stamp
indicating when it was uploaded or completed. Id.
¶ 58. CCEs worked at home five to ten hours per
workweek. Id. ¶ 59. Defendant allegedly did not
compensate CCEs for these hours. Id. ¶¶
allege that the above conduct violates federal and state
overtime and minimum wage laws. Named Plaintiffs seek to
certify two collectives, The first, the FLSA Overtime
Collective, is defined as follows:
[A]ll persons (including, but not limited to, all-non-exempt
employees in Defendants' Code Compliance Department) who
are and were employed by the City of Dallas as non-exempt
employees during the past three (3) years through the final
date of the disposition of this action who received
compensatory time in lieu of overtime at ¶ 1:1
"straight time" ratio for hours worked in excess of
forty (4) hours per workweek[.]
second, the FLSA Minimum Wage Collective, is more narrowly
[A]ll persons who are and were employed by the City of Dallas
as inspectors, supervisors, and neighborhood code
representatives employed in Defendants' Code Compliance
Department during the past three (3) years through the final
date of the disposition of this action who were required to