Update - Decertification Motion Still Pending

The briefing on TQL’s motion to decertify the Ohio LAET and Junior LAE classes was concluded a little more than a year ago and the case submitted for decision. The Court, however, has not yet ruled on the motion. Class certification and decertification issues are legally and factually complex and it is not unusual for such motions to remain pending for this length of time. We expect a decision to issue soon and remain confident about the merits of the overtime claims in this lawsuit.

Motion to Decertify Remains Pending

No ruling has issued yet on TQL’s motion to decertify the Ohio class action, which presents overtime claims under Ohio law. The motion has been pending before Judge Michael Barrett since late 2016. TQL previously filed a similar motion to decertify the Federal collective action, presenting claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Although the legal standards are slightly different between proceeding under State and Federal law, the theory of recovery remains the same, namely that TQL failed to pay overtime to the class members by misclassifying them as exempt.

Ohio Overtime Classes Challenged

As is typical in class action litigation, TQL has challenged the class certifications of LAETS and Junior LAEs in this case. TQL’s motion to "decertify" was filed on July 1.We filed our opposition on September 1. Our brief presents lengthy factual and legal arguments supporting why a class action is the best way to litigate the Ohio overtime claims. TQL previously attempted, unsuccessfully, to decertify the "Federal" potion of this case. Its new motion repeats many of the same arguments in attempting to decertify the "State" portion.

Decertification Ruling Issues in Federal Case

Judge Barrett has issued a favorable decision on TQL’s motion to decertify the Federal overtime class. The decision permits the Federal case to go forward, but in two narrower classes, one consisting of LAETs employed after February 14, 2008, and a second of Junior LAEs employed after that date.  Commission eligible LAEs are excluded from both classes. The ruling adversely affects individuals who opted in to the Federal case but were employed only as commission eligible LAEs after February 14, 2008. 

New Dates Set for Ohio Overtime Case

During a Status Conference held on December 29, 2015, Judge  Barrett set several dates to move this case forward. Discovery about our claims and TQL’s defenses must be completed by April 15. This includes depositions, and requests for admissions and documents. TQL advised the Judge that it intended to file a motion seeking to "decertify" the class action, which was expected. The Judge set a deadline of July 1 for filing this motion.

Ohio Class Notice Completed

On July 17, 2015 Notice of this lawsuit was mailed to LAETs and Junior LAEs employed by TQL in Ohio since September 21, 2008.  The Notice explained the overtime claims we are making under Ohio law and gave individuals in the class the right to exclude themselves by the end of the Notice Period, September 15, 2015  The class list contained the names of 4,554 current and former TQL employees. Of this number, 89 chose to exclude themselves or opt-out. The Ohio overtime claims will be determined on a class basis by Judge Michael R. Barrett.