On October 16 Judge Dlot will hear oral arguments on our request to certify a class of Ohio Junior LAEs. If she grants certification, the Junior LAEs will join LAETs in making claims for overtime under Ohio law.
Hendricks v. Total Quality Logistics
Hendricks, et al. vs. Total Quality Logistics, LLC. This is an overtime pay case brought on behalf of current and former freight brokers (Logistics Account Executive Trainees and Logistics Account Executives) who were paid a salary or a draw against commissions. These employees worked very long hours but did not receive any overtime pay and are not exempt from overtime under the law. We seek to recover overtime pay for these employees.
On January 18, 2013, Judge Dlott granted our Motion to Certify a Class of all LAET's employed by TQL in Ohio since September 21, 2008 through the conclusion of the case. The Judge denied our motion to certify a class of LAE's, but her decision suggested that a renewed, but more limited motion for LAE's would be considered.
We intend to pursue a renewed motion to certify a class of LAE's
On August 1, 2012 the Judge heard arguments on Plaintiffs' motion for certication of a class of Ohio LAEs and LAETs. We focused on our strongest arguments for certification: 1. The LAEs have the same primary duty of selling brokerage services; 2. All are subject to TQL policies and procedures in every aspect of their jobs; and 3. All are trained to do the job in the same manner. The LAETs are trainees with common duties. This, in a nutshell, is why the case can be litigated as a class action.
The Defendants stressed the differences between and among the LAEs and LAETs, which we argued were mostly due to progression in the job. Defendants argue that entitlement to overtime must be litigated on an individual, not a class basis.
The Judge complemented both parties on their presentations and the extensive briefing of the motion. She has taken the matter "under advisement". We do not know when she will issue her decision. Whatever the outcome of this motion, the case will proceed on behalf of the individuals who joined this case as Plaintiffs.
The Court has scheduled oral argument on Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification for Wednesday, August 1, 2012. Both sides will have the opportunity to present their positions and answer the Court's questions. The arguments will be made in the Judge's chambers.
Briefing is now completed on the class action motion. If the Judge grants our motion, all current and former LAEs and LAETs who worked in Ohio after September 2008 will become part of the class unless they opt out. There are many complicated issues for the Judge to decide and a ruling is not expected for several months.
On Monday, January 30, we filed a Motion asking the Judge to certify a class action for all LAEs and LAETs who worked in Ohio since September 2008. We argue that the LAEs and LAETs are essentially inside sales people who are not exempt from Ohio or federal overtime laws. Since LAEs and LAETs share the same core responsibilities and primary function- to sell brokerage services- we can prove entitlement to overtime by common proof in a class action.
Because much of the evidence was designated as “confidential” by TQL, the motion was filed under seal with the Court. TQL will have 21 days to respond and we will have a final chance to file a reply brief 14 days later. The Judge’s ruling will follow, but any decision could take several months based on the complexity of the issues.
On August 2, 2011, Judge Dlott issued an order limiting discovery at Plaintiffs' request. Defendants had served 78 sets of written discovery requiring answers to over 4,000 requests. The Judge limited Defendants to 30 sets of written discovery and 30 depositions. Defendants can request more discovery later if they can show they can't prove their case with this restriction.
In her order the Judge also set some deadlines for Phase 1 of the case that involves class and FLSA conditional certification. Fact discovery must be completed by November 30, 2011, and expert discovery by March 30, 2012. Defendants have until May 30, 2012, to file any motion to decertify the FLSA class, attempting to preclude the LAE's and LAET's from litigating their claims as a class.
We appreciate the continuing support of our class members. We may be contacting you in the future for additional information and assistance in advancing our case for overtime.
All consents to make a federal claim for overtime must be received or postmarked by FRIDAY, MAY 27. Please contact us if you have misplaced your forms and would like a duplicate set sent to you.
If you want to join this case and make a claim for overtime under federal law your Consent must be postmarked or received by Friday May 27, 2011. You can also send the Consent by fax to 513 345 4703. If you have questions or want to discuss the case please call Bruce Meizlish or Deborah Grayson at 513 345 4700.
Notice of this overtime case and Consent forms were mailed to eligible LAET's and LAE's on March 28, 2011. As of May 2, there are 113 individuals who have joined the case. All Consent forms must be returned by May 27, 2011. If you have misplaced your form, please contact us for a replacement at 513 345 4700.